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.
Currently Off View
- Etienne Carjat
- Charles Baudelaire (French poet, critic, and writer, 1821-1867)
- Woodburytype, from the periodical “Galerie Contemporaine Littéraire, Artistique” (1878), volume 5
- 23.1 × 18.1 cm (9 1/8 × 7 3/16 in.)
- Photography Gallery Fund