I just finished reading J.K. Huysmans’ A Rebours (“Against the Grain” or “Against Nature”). For all his faults, Des Essientes has excellent taste in art. Here are the specific works he supposedly hangs in his home, with Huysman’s breathless descriptions:
Gustave Moreau, Salome Dancing Before Herod, 1876 (or thereabouts)
Des Esseintes saw realized at last the Salome, weird and superhuman, he had dreamed of. No longer was she merely the dancing girl who extorts a cry of lust and concupiscence from an old man by the lascivious contortions of her body; who breaks the will, masters the mind of a King by the spectacle of her quivering bosoms, heaving belly and tossing thighs; she was now revealed in a sense as the symbolic incarnation of world-old ice, the goddess of immortal Hysteria, the Curse of Beauty supreme above all other beauties by the cataleptic spasm that stirs the flesh and steels her muscles, a monstrous Beast of the Apocalypse, indifferent, irresponsible, insensible, poisoning, like Helen of Troy of the Classic fables, all who come near her, all who see her, all who touch her.