A painting by Franz Kupka, a Czech avant-garde painter living in Paris. The painting is a mixture of realism and abstraction. Called The Yellow Scale, it depicts a portrait, but the painting technique consists of a feast of violent slashes of yellow impasto. This was a work of the transitional stage of Kupka's oeuvre when he moved from an impressionistic style to the world of abstraction.
In the painting we see a supremely bored male individual, staring at us with a stern expression on his green-tinted face, a wisp of black hair sweeping across a wide brow, lounging back in a yellow dressing gown, his head resting against a large soft pillow in an oriental cane armchair. There is a self-rolled cigarette in the semi-salute of his upraised left hand, whilst his right hand's first finger rests in the opening of a yellow-covered Charpentier paperback on his lap.
Who is this lounger? It is no other than Charles Baudelaire, the French decadent poet, based on one of Nadar's daguerreotype photographs.
(From a review by B.J. Gilbert)