Thus I am led to regard adornment as one of the signs of the primitive nobility of the human soul.
Felix Nadar, Charles Baudelaire

Felix Nadar, Charles Baudelaire

Review, analyse everything that is natural, all the actions and desires of absolutely natural man:  you will find nothing that is not horrible.  Everything that is beautiful, and noble is the product of reason and calculation.
***
Contrary to what a lot of thoughtless people seem to believe, dandyism is not even an excessive delight in clothes and material elegance.  For the perfect dandy, delight in these things are no more than the symbol of the aristocratic superiority of mind…What then can this passion be, which has crystalized into a doctrine, and has formed a number of outstanding devotees, this unwritten code that has moulded so proud a brotherhood?  It is, above all, the burning desire to create a personal form of originality, within the external limits of social conventions.
***
Fashion must therefore be thought of as a symptom of the taste for the ideal that floats on the surface in the human brain, above all the coarse, earthy and disgusting things that life according to nature accumulates, as a sublime distortion of nature, or rather as a permanent and constantly renewed effort to reform nature. Charles Baudelaire,”The Painter of Modern Life,” Baudelaire: Selected Writings on Art and Artists.
Nadar, Baudelaire à la charogne,

Nadar, Baudelaire à la charogne,


All three citations are taken from “The Painter of Modern Life.” Beauty, as Baudelaire puts it so well, is composed, not always natural. His comments complement Nevelson’s statements perfectly: Baudelaire is more philosphical, Nevelson more direct and personal.  Both emphasize the thought and depth which accompany the construction of a beautiful sartorial surface.

 

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One Response to Charles Baudelaire

  1. Cheryl Krueger says:

    I wish Nadar had photographed Baudelaire in his pink gloves. There is a wonderful article by Sima Godfrey called “Baudelaire’s Windows,” in which she points out in “l’Eloge du maquillage,” Baudelaire describes eyeliner as a black frame that renders the gaze more unusual and profound.

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