"Thursday has become an oasis of luxe et volupté."


Henri Matisse, Luxe, calme et volupté, 1904
Creative Commons AttributionHenri Matisse, Luxe, calme et volupté, 1904 - Credit: Sharon Mollerus

The words luxe et volupté are recognisable from the French artist, Henri Matisse's painting, Luxe, calme et volupté completed in 1904. The title comes from a line in Charles Baudelaire's poem, L'invitation au voyage, first published in 1857 in the controversial collection of his poetry, Fleurs du Mal. In the poem he talks of a utopia fired by the senses where all around is 'luxury, peace and pleasure'.

In Disgrace, Baudelaire is one of the poets featured on the Romantic Poetry module taught by David Lurie.

To read the poem in its original French, followed by four alternative English translations, click here.