1862. Etching on laid paper, first state. Signed in the plate upper left with an intertwined E and M. 130 x 74 mm. Matted and framed. Some browning to edges of visible paper from mat, print not affected. Not examined outside of frame.
This is one of two portraits of Baudelaire etched by Manet during Baudelaire's lifetime. It was originally printed in a few trial proofs by the Collection Guérard; later part of the Gennevilliers album (1890). The original plate is kept in the Cabinet des Estampes of the Bibliotheque Nationale. This profile of Baudelaire is based on the image in Manet's painting La Musique aux Tuileries (1861), in which Manet depicted various friends and colleagues.
"It was Baudelaire's friendship that gave Manet the encouragement to plunge into the unknown to find the new, and in doing so to become the true painter of modern life. The Music in the Tuileries is a new kind of painting... Baudelaire appears at the extreme left, fashionably dressed, talking to Gautier. In the final paragraph of his 1845 'Salon' Baudelaire had stated that the true painter for whom we are waiting would be the one who could find an epic quality in contemporary life and make us understand 'combien nous sommes grands et poetique dans nos cravates et nos bottes verries.' This is exactly what Manet has achieved." (Alan Bowness, Poetry & Painting: Baudelaire, Mallarmé, Apollinaire and their Painter Friends, Oxford, 1994.)
Guérin, L'oeuvre gravé de Manet, 30. Harris, Edouard Manet, Graphic Works, 21. Moreau- Nélaton, Manet: graveur et lithographe, 40. Item #2218