I love Baudelaire. He wasn’t only a wonderful poet but also a visual art passionate and activist. He promoted art for all, outside of the Official Salon and the establishment. To introduce this work in progress serie I want to share with you periodically, allow me to publish this beautiful text he wrote in 1855 for the opening of the Beaux Art Exposition Universelle.
Like all my friends I have tried more than once to lock myself up within a system in order to preach there at my ease. But a system is a kind of damnation which forces one to a perpetual recantation; it is always necessary to be inventing a new one, and the drudgery involved is a cruel punishment.
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And my system was always beautiful, spacious, vast, convenient, neat, and above all, water-tight; at least so it seemed to me. But always a spontaneous, unexpected product of universal vitality would come to give the lie to my childish and superannuated wisdom— that lamentable child of Utopia! It was no good shifting or stretching my criterion— it always lagged behind universal person, and never stopped chasing after multiform and multi- colored beauty as it moved in the infinite spirals of life. Condemned unremittingly to the humiliation of a new conversion, I took a great decision.
To escape from the horror of these philosophical apostasies, I haughtily re- signed myself to modesty; I became content to feel; I re- turned to seek refuge in impeccable naïveté.