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

 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. 
 This industry [photography], by invading the territories of art, has become art’s most mortal enemy. 
 ... 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) 
 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. 
 In the domain of painting and statuary, the present-day credo of the worldly wise, especially in France, is this: ... “I believe that art is, and can only be, the exact reproduction of nature...” An avenging God has heard the prayers of this multitude; Daguerre was his messiah. 
 A good picture, which is the faithful equivalent of the dream which has begotten it, should be brought into being like a world. 
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