Baudelaire's art and literary criticism  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

French writer Charles Baudelaire made his literary debut with a work of art criticism: the Salon of 1845.

Baudelaire's literary criticism has been published under the collective title L'Art Romantique [1]. His art criticism has been published under the collective title Curiosités esthétiques [2]. On a general level, Baudelaire was impressed by Wagner's music, enthusiastic of Poe, fascinated by caricatures, unsympathetic to the realism of Courbet and Millet and disdainful of nascent photography.

His art reviews of 1845 and 1846 attracted immediate attention for their boldness: many of his critical opinions were novel in their time, but have since been generally accepted. He took part in the revolutionaries in 1848, and for some years was interested in republican politics, but his political convictions spanned the anarchism of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, the history of the Raison d'Ėtat of Giuseppe Ferrari, and ultramontane critique of liberalism of Joseph de Maistre.

L'Art Romantique

Baudelaire's L'Art romantique [3] was published posthumously in 1869. It is an anthology of literary and art criticism Baudelaire had written on the authors and painters he had felt close to. Of particular note are the texts on Edgar Allan Poe, Théophile Gautier, on Madame Bovary by Flaubert, and on Les Misérables by Victor Hugo.

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