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Painted Poetry

Colour in Baudelaire’s Art Criticism

Series:

Ann Kennedy Smith

Before becoming a poet, Charles Baudelaire was an art critic; and he made his literary début with the Salon de 1845. Its failure to find a receptive audience led him to write the groundbreaking Salon de 1846 with its pivotal chapter on colour, in which Baudelaire challenged fundamental critical concepts of art by insisting on colour’s complexity, expressivity and modernity. Through a close reading of his critical essays on art, this book examines how Baudelaire’s thoughts on colour developed throughout his life and sets them in the context of traditional views of colour. What effect did the new scientific theories of colour harmony, filtered through his conversations with Delacroix and other artists, have on Baudelaire? Why did he see Daumier as a colourist, but not Ingres? What made him turn his back on French art in 1859 and which artist changed his mind? Baudelaire’s interest in a highly personal form of colour symbolism is investigated, as well as the part that colour plays in developing his later, central idea of a creative and poetic imagination capable of translating all the arts.

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Bibliography Baudelaire Editions Consulted Œuvres complètes, edited by Jacques Crépet, 19 vols (Paris: Conard, 1922–1953) Œuvres posthumes, edited by Jacques Crépet, 3 vols (Paris: Conard, 1952) The Painter of Modern Life and other essays, translated and edited by Jonathan Mayne (London: Phaidon, 1995) Art in Paris 1845–1862, Salons and other Exhibitions Reviewed by Charles Baudelaire, translated and edited by Jonathan Mayne (London: Phaidon, 1965) Correspondance, texte établi, présenté et annoté par Claude Pichois avec la collabora- tion de Jean Ziegler, 2 vols (Paris: Gallimard, 1973) Œuvres complètes, texte établi, présenté et annoté par Claude Pichois (Paris: Gallimard, 1975, 1976) Lettres à Charles Baudelaire, Études baudelairiennes, 4–5, publiés par Claude Pichois avec la collaboration de Vincenette Pichois (La Baconnière: Neuchâtel, 1973) Salons and Original Texts Amaury-Duval, E.-E, L’Atelier d’Ingres (Paris: Charpentier, 1878) —— L’Atelier d’Ingres, édition critique de l’ouvrage publié à Paris en 1878; introduction, notes, postface et documents par Daniel Ternois (Paris: Arthena, 1993) Asselineau, Charles, Baudelaire et Asselineau. Textes recueillis et commentés, ed. Jacques Crépet and Claude Pichois (Paris: Nizet, 1953) Banville, Théodore de, Mes Souvenirs (Paris: Éditions d’Aujourd’hui, 1980) Blanc, Charles, ‘Salon de 1840’, Revue du progrès, III, 15 mars 1840, pp. 217–218 —— Grammaire des arts du dessin (Paris: Renouard, 1886) Champf leury, Oeuvres posthumes: Salons 1846–51 (Paris: Alphonse Lemerre, 1894) 224 Bibliography Chevreul, Michel-Eugène, De la loi du contraste simultanée des couleurs et de l’assortiment des objets colorés d’apr...

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