Baudelaire, Charles

POET, ART CRITIC, TRANSLATOR (FRANCE)
BORN 9 Apr 1821, Paris - DIED 31 Aug 1867, Paris
REAL NAME Baudelaire, Pierre-Charles
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Cimetière du Montparnasse, 3 Boulevard Edgar Quinet (division 06)

Charles Baudelaire was the son of the civil servant Joseph-Francóis Baudelaire (1759-1827). His mother Carline Dufaÿs (1794-1871) was 34 years younger. After his father's death his mother married Jacques Apick, a future French ambassador to several countries. Charles was educated in Lyon and Paris. In 1839 he decided to statt a literary career. He led a wild life he was sent to India in 1841 to make him change his life. But he was back in Paris within a year. In 1842 he met Jeanne Duval, a dancer and actress from Haiti, who was his mistress and muse for twenty years.

His art reviews attracted attention in 1845. In 1847 he came to know the works of Edgar Allan Poe and until 1865 he translated his works to great acclaim. In 1848 he took part in the revolution, but his interest in politics soon waned. In the early 1850s he suffered from bad health and financial problems and his literary output was limited. Around 1855 he became a close friend of Édouard Manet and he accompanied him on sketching trips.

In 1857 he published his first volume of poetry, "Les fleurs du mal". They caused a scandal because it included poems about sex and death. Prosecution followed and six of the poems were suppressed. Baudelaire and hs publisher were fined but not imprisoned. It is unknown why Eugénie invervened. Baudelaire and his received public support from Victor Hugo and others. After he pleaded his case in a letter to empress Eugénie his fine was cut from 300 Franc to 50 Franc. And an edition without the six poems but with the addition of others followed in 1861. In 1860 he visited three performances of Wagner operas in Paris and he wrote to Wagner thad they had given him sensual pleasure. He admired the painter Eugène Delacroix and corresponded with him. Delacroix was interested in him but at the same time he kept his distance.

In 1861 Jeanne Duval ended their relationship because she thought he wuld never change. He continued to support her financially but he had probably infected her with syphilis and it is unclear what happened to her. After his publisher Auguste Poulet-Malassis went bankrupt his own financial position became difficult and in 1864 he moved to Brussels. In Brussels he drank heavily. In 1866 he fell during a visit to the Saint-Loup church in Namur and soon afterwards he was found in a bad state in a café. Soon afterwards he was discovered paralyzed at his home. He was taken back to Paris and lived in rest homes. There he was frequently visited by Manet and his wife Berthe Morisot, who played Wagner ont he piano for him. He he died in 1867, probably from syphilis.

Related persons
• is stepson/stepdaughter of Aupick, Jacques
• knew Beauvoir, Roger de
• has a connection with Delacroix, Eugène
• was a friend of Dierx, Léon
• was a friend of Gautier, Théophile
• was a friend of Manet, Édouard
• was a friend of Morisot, Berthe
• was a friend of Nadar
• influenced Rops, Félicien
• had work illustrated by Schwabe, Carlos
• was painted by Vallotton, Félix

Images

The grave of Charles Baudelaire and Jacques Aupick at the Montparnasse cemetery, Paris.
Picture by Androom (07 Mar 1995)

 

Sources
Charles Baudelaire - Wikipedia
The Mystery of Baudelaire's Maddening Mistress


Baudry, Paul

Published: 24 Mar 2008
Last update: 18 Apr 2021