Charles Baudelaire
[Writer, b. 1821, Paris, d. 1867, Paris.]

 This industry [photography], by invading the territories of art, has become art’s most mortal enemy. 
 Our squalid society rushed, Narcissus to a man, to gaze on its trivial image on a scrap of metal. 
 All the visible universe is nothing but a shop of images and signs. 
 If photography is allowed to supplement art in some of its functions, it will soon have supplanted or corrupted it altogether, thanks to the stupidity of the multitude which is its natural ally. 
 ... a thousand hungry eyes are bending over the peepholes of the stereoscope as though they were the attic windows of the infinite. The love of pornography, which is no less deep-rooted in the natural heart of man than the love of himself, was not to let slip so fine an opportunity of satisfaction [as photography]. And do not imagine that it was only children on their way back from school who took pleasure in these follies; everyone was infatuated with them. (1859) 
 A portrait! What could be more simple and more complex, more obvious and more profound? (1859) 
 All children talk to their toys; the toys become actors in the great drama of life, reduced in size by the camera obscura of their little brains. 
 I would very much like to have a photograph of you... [but] I must be there. You know nothing about them, and all photographers, even the best, have ridiculous mannerisms. They think it is a good photograph if warts, wrinkles, and every defect and triviality of the face are made visible and exaggerated; and the HARDER the image is, the more they are pleased. (1865, To his mother) 
quotes 1-8 of 12
page 1 of 2 next page last page
display quotes