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Charles Baudelaire

Photographer: Étienne Carjat (1828 - 1906)

'Charles Baudelaire, c.1862'

Despite his condemnation of photography as a refuge for failed painters, the poet sat for a number of photographers. He was sufficiently impressed by Carjat’s portrait to write to the artist requesting prints, praising it as ‘not perfect, but only because perfection is impossible’. 

The photograph is one of many studies of artists and writers which the caricaturist, writer and photographer Étienne Carjat contributed to the Galerie contemporaine, a weekly revue of the arts which appeared between 1876 and 1884.

Carbon print

From Gaston Schéfer (ed.), Galerie contemporaine littéraire, artistique (Paris, 1876-84), vol. 3 part 1

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