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Charles Baudelaire (French poet, critic, and writer, 1821-1867)

A work made of woodburytype, from the periodical “galerie contemporaine littéraire, artistique” (1878), volume 5.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of woodburytype, from the periodical “galerie contemporaine littéraire, artistique” (1878), volume 5.


c. 1863


Etienne Carjat
French 1828–1906

About this artwork

Although the French poet Charles Baudelaire had disparaged photography as a refuge for failed painters and condemned society for rushing “like Narcissus, to contemplate its trivial image on a metallic plate,” he posed for his own portrait several times. Etienne Carjat, a draftsman turned photographer who had opened a commercial portrait studio in 1860, produced this image of a brooding Baudelaire, which became famous well beyond the poet’s lifetime. It was included in La galerie contemporaine, a series of 241 portraits of significant figures in the arts, science, and politics produced by leading Parisian photographers. Issued in regular installments between 1876 and 1884 by Goupil et Cie., the series included biographical text along with a photograph rendered as a woodburytype, an ink mass-production printing process acclaimed for its rich tones and resistance to fading.


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Photography and Media


Etienne Carjat


Charles Baudelaire (French poet, critic, and writer, 1821-1867)


France (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1858–1868


Woodburytype, from the periodical “Galerie Contemporaine Littéraire, Artistique” (1878), volume 5


23.1 × 18.1 cm (9 1/8 × 7 3/16 in.)

Credit Line

Photography Gallery Fund

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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