My essay, contained in the catalogue of the exhibition The Virgin and the Femme Fatale (now impossible to find), is entitled "L'Enfant Fatale: Salome as a symbol of decadent beauty between England and France fin de siècle".
Starting from Gustave Moreau's Salome as described by Huysmans and arriving at Aubrey Beardsley's Salome as described by Wilde, through the words of Mallarmé, I try to demonstrate the transformation of the femme fatale from a female of the flesh to an androgynous idol.
From the words of the poets I finally turn to reality with the Marchesa Luisa Casati, portrayed as Salome by Alastair. In this downward parabola towards reality everything is decadence and in fact after Casati an era and also the myth of the femme fatale ends.
- 17 pages with 14 b/w images
- - 17 pages with 14 b/w images