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Charles Baudelaire (1821-67) was a leading poet and novelist in nineteenth who also devoted a considerable amount of his time to criticism. Indeed it was with a Salon review that he made his literary debut: and it is significant that even at this early stage - in 1845 - he was already articulating the need for a painter who could depict the heroism of modern life. This he was to find in Constantin Guys, whom he later celebrated in the famous essay which provides the title-piece for this collection. Other material in this volume includes important and extended studies of three of Baudelaire's contemporary heroes - Delacroix, Poe and Wagner - and some more general articles, such as those on the theory and practice of caricature, and on what Baudelaire, with intentional scorn, called philosophic art. This last article develops views only touched on in Baudelaire's other writings. This volume is extensively illustrated with reproductions of works referred to in the text and otherwise relevant to it. It provides a survey of some of the most important ideas and individuals in the critical world of the great poet who has been called the father of modern art criticism.
Phaidon Press Ltd
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