The interesting fact about the above painting, becomes interesting when “read” in relation with following lines from Charles Baudelaire’s “A Passer By” (translated by William Aggeler, The Flowers of Evil (Fresno, CA: Academy Library Guild, 1954):
“Agile and graceful, her leg was like a statue's.
Tense as in a delirium, I drank
From her eyes, pale sky where tempests germinate,
The sweetness that enthralls and the pleasure that kills.
A lightning flash... then night! Fleeting beauty
By whose glance I was suddenly reborn,
Will I see you no more before eternity?”
Everything at once remains reduced to the level of the gaze; not the mythic sexualised gaze, but the gaze of the “flaneur” or the flaneuse”. This painting at once becomes an…show more content… The mention of “DUBONNETS”, which was basically a kind of tonic also conveys a sense of malaise perhaps in the bodily constitution of the looker. The fact that she sees all these posters while she’s on the Paris metro, is understood by the mention of “CONCORDE” which is basically a station on the Paris Metro route (falls nearest to Louvre). One must notice the interesting use of spacings and the contrast between the two passages here. This is something that can only be noticed by a person engaged in “flanerie”, while the “Tuileries” whose spaciousness has been hinted at here by the overuse of spaces; in the very next paragraph, one sees normal spacings which appears heavily reduced. This could mean something interesting: the idea of exaggeration by the human gaze, it is something set of by use of contrasts here.
However, once she starts describing billboards and clothing advertisements, the previously confusing descriptions of cigarette paper, shoe polish advertisements start bearing a meaning to us: These lines are basically an advertisement of an apparel store, which has started selling “spring collection” of garments. The mention of the “jeunesse doree”, is a gentle jab at the class of consumers perhaps whose fashion statement changed with seasons. At once, we are reminded of Veblen’s economic doctrine of “conspicuous consumption”, which basically defines as to how fashion senses of individuals develop with economic and social class; we are reminded of the