The Tears of Eros
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Tears of Eros (French original title: Les Larmes d'éros) is a 1961 art history book by Georges Bataille in which Bataille explores the relationship between visual art, eroticism, violence and death. Published by Jean-Jacques Pauvert, this, his last book, was prefaced by J. M. Lo Duca (including their correspondence), who was a close friend of Bataille towards the end of his life.
Its most recent English edition dates from 1989 by City Lights Publishers in a translation by Peter Connor. Some editions of the German and Dutch translations have the painting of José Manuel Capuletti, "The Bottle of the Danaides", on its cover.
City Lights describe the book as:
- Tears of Eros is the culmination of Georges Bataille's inquiries into the relationship between violence and the sacred. Taking up such figures as Gilles de Rais, Erzebet Bathory, the Marquis de Sade, El Greco, Gustave Moreau, Andre Breton, Voodoo practitioners, and Chinese torture victims, Bataille reveals their common obsession: death.
- This essay, illustrated with artwork from every era, was developed out of ideas explored in Erotism: Death and Sensuality and Prehistoric Painting: Lascaux or the Birth of Art. In it Bataille examines death-the ""little death"" that follows sexual climax, the proximate death in sadomasochistic practices, and death as part of religious ritual and sacrifice.
Some works in the book
- Poppaea Sabina (School of Fontainebleau), c. 1570
- Woman with Red Lily High Museum of Art
- The Triumph of the Phallus
- Portrait of Herod by Arcimboldo 
- Bataille, George Translated The Tears of Eros. Translated by Peter Connor. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1989. ISBN 0872862224