How does David Carrier interpret Baudelaire's concept of "modernity" and his idea of "the painter of modern life"?

David Carrier links Baudelaire's concept of "modernity" and his ideas on modern art as expressed in "The Painter of Modern Life" to the political upheavals of 1968. He argues that the Revolutions of 1848 fulfilled a similar function for Baudelaire in redefining the focus of art, making it more modern, popular, and dynamic.

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In his book High Art: Charles Baudelaire and the Origins of Modernist Painting, David Carrier draws political and artistic parallels between the revolts of 1968 and the Revolutions of 1848, which influenced Baudelaire. Carrier argues that the political upheavals in Baudelaire's time led to a transition from the unified high...

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In his book High Art: Charles Baudelaire and the Origins of Modernist Painting, David Carrier draws political and artistic parallels between the revolts of 1968 and the Revolutions of 1848, which influenced Baudelaire. Carrier argues that the political upheavals in Baudelaire's time led to a transition from the unified high art of such classicizing painters as Eugene Delacroix to a much more fragmented and modern low art of painters like Constantin Guys, the artist celebrated by Baudelaire in his essay "The Painter of Modern Life."

Modern life for Baudelaire was city life among the crowds of Paris, particularly the aspects of that life which were most transient, including details of fashion and cosmetics. Baudelaire, Carrier says, turned away from formalist art criticism to focus on the subject matter of painting and its relation to the life of the masses. He did not care whether the modern artist learned his technique from the old masters so long as he used the technique, as Guys did, to capture the dynamism of the city crowds. Carrier sees Baudelaire as anticipating the modernist art of the twentieth century, with its political statements and emphasis on the presentation of and reaction to modernity. Baudelaire's art criticism influenced that of the twentieth century in its examination of the links between aesthetics and politics.

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