ÉDOUARD MANET (1832-1883)

Charles Baudelaire

Paris, 1865


Composed after a photograph by the French photographer Nadar, this etching captures the immediacy of the original photographic image. The short busy lines swirl across the paper to build up the likeness of the art critic and poet Charles Baudelaire.

Nadar took a direct approach to his portraiture, intending to capture the personality of his famous sitters. Manet’s approach was equally direct, eliminating any sense of background in a black mass that encroaches upon the sitter. Baudelaire stares out, off centre, with a disturbingly fixed gaze. The visible lines in the background seem to pulse with life. The dark and brooding atmosphere of this portrait is appropriate for the translator of the macabre and Gothic Edgar Allan Poe.

Purchased 1957 (No. 57.11)


We show a rotating selection of works on paper in our two dedicated exhibition spaces.If you wish to view a work not currently on display, you can make an appointment to see it in the Prints and Drawings Study Room, which is equipped with viewing lecterns and a study/seminar table.


The study room is open to students, scholars and members of the general public, individually or in small groups, by prior appointment only. The room has tables and chairs to facilitate private study or seminars.


Open Monday to Friday, 10am – 1pm and 2 – 4.30pm

Groups welcome – but limited to 12 people at any one time, please!


Appointments: collections@barber.org.uk or +44 (0)121 414 7350

Related Posts