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By Charles Baudelaire

Name: Painter of contemporary lifestyles <>Binding: Paperback <>Author: Charles-Pierre Baudelaire <>Publisher: PENGUIN team

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Similarly, M. , faithful interpreter of his own impressions, notes with instinctive vigour the culminating features or highlights of an object (they can be culminating or luminous from a dramatic point of view) or its main characteristics, sometimes even with a degree of exaggeration useful to human memory; and the imagination of the viewer, undergoing in its turn the influence of this imperious code, conjures up in clear outline the impression produced by objects on the mind of M. G. In this case, the viewer becomes the translator of a translation, which is always clear and always intoxicating.

He began by looking at life, and only later did he contrive to learn how to express life. The result has been a striking originality, in which whatever traces of untutored simplicity may still remain take on the appearance of an additional proof of obedience to the impression, of a flattery of truth. For most of us, especially for businessmen, in whose eyes nature does not exist, unless it be in its strict utility relationship with their business interests, the fantastic reality of life becomes strangely blunted.

In fact all true draughtsmen draw from the image imprinted in their brain and not from nature. If the admirable sketches of Raphael, of Watteau and many others are quoted as examples to invalidate our contention, our reply is that these are indeed highly detailed notes, but mere notes they remain. When a true artist has reached the stage of the final execution of his work, the model would be more of an embarrassment to him than a help. It even happens that men like Daumier and M. G. who have been accustomed for years to using their memory, and filling it with images, find that, when confronted with a model and the multiplicity of detail this means, their main faculty is as though confused and paralysed.

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