Category Archives: Belle Époque

Dress-down Friday: Loie Fuller

Step, one, two, swirl, waft, billow, step, one, two…

Dress-down Friday: Loie Fuller

Step, one, two, swirl, waft, billow, step, one, two…

Finding the Woman Who Didn’t Exist

“Women may have faced many limitations in nineteenth-century France, but not everyone played by the rules and Gisèle d’Estoc seems to have broken most of them at one time or another in her colorful life.”

Finding the Woman Who Didn’t Exist

“Women may have faced many limitations in nineteenth-century France, but not everyone played by the rules and Gisèle d’Estoc seems to have broken most of them at one time or another in her colorful life.”

13 books for 2013

Swordswomen, working boys, crypto-fascist poets, bohemians, Decadents, Surrealists, occultists…business as usual really.

13 books for 2013

Swordswomen, working boys, crypto-fascist poets, bohemians, Decadents, Surrealists, occultists…business as usual really.

The poet of the bats

“Did he really invent an orchestra of perfumes, an orchestra of liqueurs, on which he could play the subtlest harmonies of the senses?”

The poet of the bats

“Did he really invent an orchestra of perfumes, an orchestra of liqueurs, on which he could play the subtlest harmonies of the senses?”

Jacques-Émile Blanche | portraits

Many of these portraits are currently on display in the exhibition Du côté de chez Jacques-Émile Blanche at the Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent in Paris.

Jacques-Émile Blanche | portraits

Many of these portraits are currently on display in the exhibition Du côté de chez Jacques-Émile Blanche at the Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent in Paris.

Dress-down Friday: La Belle Otero

Even given Otero’s reputation it’s surprising just how far she goes: dressed as a nun, a torera and a Byzantine empress; clad in a daring catsuit or scandalously baring her shoulders.

Dress-down Friday: La Belle Otero

Even given Otero’s reputation it’s surprising just how far she goes: dressed as a nun, a torera and a Byzantine empress; clad in a daring catsuit or scandalously baring her shoulders.

Dreamers of Decadence

“For a long time the chimeras have slept, stifled by the images they have inspired, and for a long time the sphinxes have asked no questions.”

Dreamers of Decadence

“For a long time the chimeras have slept, stifled by the images they have inspired, and for a long time the sphinxes have asked no questions.”

A Lorrain special, part 2

It’s impossible to understand Jean Lorrain without acknowledging his self-loathing. A masochistic streak led him to provoke the ire of those he admired as much as the objects of his disdain.

A Lorrain special, part 2

It’s impossible to understand Jean Lorrain without acknowledging his self-loathing. A masochistic streak led him to provoke the ire of those he admired as much as the objects of his disdain.

A Lorrain special, part 1

A typical night might start in the opera, continue at Maxim’s, stop over in a music hall and end at dawn in the produce markets of Les Halles. At various points in his nocturnal odyssey Lorrain would be accompanied by barons, bohemians and barrow boys.

A Lorrain special, part 1

A typical night might start in the opera, continue at Maxim’s, stop over in a music hall and end at dawn in the produce markets of Les Halles. At various points in his nocturnal odyssey Lorrain would be accompanied by barons, bohemians and barrow boys.

Dress-down Friday: Mathilde de Morny

It was as a man that she stole a society playboy’s mistress and as a man that she dueled him. She won, and to crown his humiliation ripped open her shirt and exposed her breasts; he had been bested by a mere woman.

Dress-down Friday: Mathilde de Morny

It was as a man that she stole a society playboy’s mistress and as a man that she dueled him. She won, and to crown his humiliation ripped open her shirt and exposed her breasts; he had been bested by a mere woman.

Places: Palais Rose, Le Vésinet

Montesquiou first laid eyes on the house in 1908 and announced that he would die if it were not his the following day. Well, it took two days to secure a sale agreement but the silly old drama queen somehow managed to cling to life.

Places: Palais Rose, Le Vésinet

Montesquiou first laid eyes on the house in 1908 and announced that he would die if it were not his the following day. Well, it took two days to secure a sale agreement but the silly old drama queen somehow managed to cling to life.

Pearls: Joséphin Péladan

“Making the invisible visible: that is the true purpose of art and its only reason for existence.”

Pearls: Joséphin Péladan

“Making the invisible visible: that is the true purpose of art and its only reason for existence.”

Scenes from a pataphysical life

“Depending on one’s tastes, inclinations, and social situation, the 1890s were either the Belle Époque, a virile culmination of French culture promising a yet more glorious future; or the fin-de-siècle, the last gasp of an enfeebled civilization on the verge of extinction.”

Scenes from a pataphysical life

“Depending on one’s tastes, inclinations, and social situation, the 1890s were either the Belle Époque, a virile culmination of French culture promising a yet more glorious future; or the fin-de-siècle, the last gasp of an enfeebled civilization on the verge of extinction.”

Félicien Rops | late etchings

There’s no denying the power of his enchantingly sulphurous, ecstatically blasphemous, morbidly obscene and (particularly early on) surprisingly sentimental works.

Félicien Rops | late etchings

There’s no denying the power of his enchantingly sulphurous, ecstatically blasphemous, morbidly obscene and (particularly early on) surprisingly sentimental works.

Belle Époque Paris

The cultural sector turned out new ideas, forms and sensations at a rate which mimicked the ceaseless flow of products and novelties in the booming consumerist-led economy.

Belle Époque Paris

The cultural sector turned out new ideas, forms and sensations at a rate which mimicked the ceaseless flow of products and novelties in the booming consumerist-led economy.

Autour de Jacques

The catalogue offers much to gladden the heart of anyone interested in queer/Decadent undercurrents of the Belle Époque.

Autour de Jacques

The catalogue offers much to gladden the heart of anyone interested in queer/Decadent undercurrents of the Belle Époque.

Otero in motion

This footage, shot in St Petersburg in 1898, vividly communicates the vitality and exuberance which made Caroline Otero one of the highest-paid bed partners of her day.

Otero in motion

This footage, shot in St Petersburg in 1898, vividly communicates the vitality and exuberance which made Caroline Otero one of the highest-paid bed partners of her day.

Dress-down Friday: Boni de Castellane

“Emerging from the Champs-Elysees to the avenue of that name, we perceive the meticulously garbed figure of Marquis Boni de Castellane, taking his morning constitutional with Bou-Boule, his aged bulldog, at his heels…”

Dress-down Friday: Boni de Castellane

“Emerging from the Champs-Elysees to the avenue of that name, we perceive the meticulously garbed figure of Marquis Boni de Castellane, taking his morning constitutional with Bou-Boule, his aged bulldog, at his heels…”

The hands of Robert de Montesquiou

Montesquiou’s hands — slim, pale, elegant, well-dressed — were the count himself in manicured microcosm. Portraitists, photographers and caricaturists were all drawn to the expressive richness of the long, tapering fingers, whether adorned with rings, gloves, or nothing but perfumed air.

The hands of Robert de Montesquiou

Montesquiou’s hands — slim, pale, elegant, well-dressed — were the count himself in manicured microcosm. Portraitists, photographers and caricaturists were all drawn to the expressive richness of the long, tapering fingers, whether adorned with rings, gloves, or nothing but perfumed air.

Places: Place Vendôme

One of the countess’s most notorious public appearances saw her arrive at a ball in a sheer dress, slashed at the sides, decorated with hearts. The Empress caught sight of one such strategically placed ornament. “Your heart seems a little low,” she commented coolly.

Places: Place Vendôme

One of the countess’s most notorious public appearances saw her arrive at a ball in a sheer dress, slashed at the sides, decorated with hearts. The Empress caught sight of one such strategically placed ornament. “Your heart seems a little low,” she commented coolly.