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Wednesday, April 22 • 10:05am - 10:25am
Criticism on Canvas – Baudelaire’s Critic as Painter of Modern Life

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Oscar Wilde once said concerning the art of the critic versus that of the artist: “It is very much more difficult to talk about a thing than to do it ... Anybody can make history. Only a great man can write it.” While Wilde’s exaltation of the critic may seem to belittle the artist, it nevertheless reveals a larger debate concerning the purpose of art criticism and its viability as an art form. Through his famous essay on the street artist and reporter Constantin Guys, “The Painter of Modern Life,” Charles Baudelaire reveals a similar view concerning the relationship between the art critic and the artist. Baudelaire not only elevates the critic to the position of an artist, but to the position of the penultimate artist – the Painter of Modern Life, one who captures the “eternal and transitory,” the “absolute and particular” beauty of his epoch.


Wednesday April 22, 2015 10:05am - 10:25am PDT
406 Wilma Sherrill Center