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Manet, Beaudelaire and photography...

It happened to Manet to use the photo. Thus, he executed in 1860 (or in 1856, opinions differ) an etching by Edgar Poe from a daguerreotype, or an engraved portrait of Beaudelaire from a photo by Nadar, in 1865.

Charles Beaudelaire. Gravure d'Edouard Manet. 1865
Charles Beaudelaire. Gravure d'Edouard Manet. 1865

Charles Beaudelaire par Nadar
Charles Beaudelaire par Nadar

The photo was a precious aid for portraits and Degas used it extensively, as well as Bazille who will finish his "young naked man lying in the grass" from a daguerreotype.

Beaudelaire worries about the influence of photography on painting and writes:

“In matters of painting and statuary…if photography is allowed to supplement art in some of its functions, it will soon have supplanted or corrupted it entirely thanks to the natural alliance that it will find in the foolishness of the multitude. It must therefore return to its true duty, which is to be the servant of the sciences and the arts.

So here is the photograph dressed for winter… to be continued!

In his art history lectures, Fabrice Roy combines the past with the present, in a poetic and playful evocation of the French 19th century...


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