Rosa Mystica á la Guillame de Lorris

Rosa Mystica is based on a scene from Guillame de Lorris’ Roman de la Rose, where the Lover meets Bel Accueil.

Rosa Mystica á la Guillame de Lorris, 2023, ink on paper, 110 x 75 cm.

Above the cemetery shines a mystical rose picked from  Roman de la Rose, which is most often interpreted as the noble maiden pursued by the novel’s Lover. However, a closer reading raises questions about the supposed genders. For example, in the British Library edition, both the Lover and Bel Accueil are pronounced as men (French il), but Bel Accueil is pictured as a woman. Similarly, Bel Accueil’s name, which is often translated as “You’re welcome”, can also be read as “bel a cul“, in English: Nice arse! The rose embraced by the Lover and guarded by Bel Accueil turns out to be Bel Accueil’s own anus – You’re welcome, you beautiful butt!