ArtVantage presents an appreciation of the genius of Charles Baudelaire through the writings of modern day critics and reviewers and principally through the artistry of highly regarded Indian artist Samij Datta.
Baudelaire’s recognition in his own time may have been limited but his influence on the generations to come was significant. Among those most influenced was Rimbaud who praised him in a letter as 'the king of poets, a true God'. Mallarmé published a sonnet in Baudelaire's memory. Marcel Proust in an essay published in 1922, stated that along with Alfred de Vigny, Baudelaire was 'the greatest poet of the nineteenth century'. Edmund Wilson credited Baudelaire as providing an initial impetus for the Symbolist movement. T. S. Eliot claimed that the poet had 'great genius'. Introspective and dark his poetry may have been, controversial his reputation and a life beset with drama, but he left an outstanding legacy of inspiration to writers, musicians and artists.