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Baudelaire, poète et critique d'art


Admission requirements

Bachelor French Language and Literature or bachelor in another modern language.
Students from other tracks of Literary Studies or Media Studies and also of Art History are welcome provided they have a good reading and understanding proficiency in French. In that case, the oral presentation and paper will be in English or Dutch. Please contact the teacher before signing in.


Baudelaire is the greatest French poet of the 19th century. His famous Les fleurs du mal belongs both to Romanticism and to modernity. In this course we will study this main work by Baudelaire but also Le Spleen de Paris, his renewing prose poems. We will also get to know his work as an art critic and essayist. As a reporter of the yearly ‘Salons’ he was one of the partisans of controversial painters such as Delacroix and Courbet; he also wrote on renewing composers (Wagner) and writers (Edgar Allan Poe, whom he also translated). Baudelaire’s art criticism is closely linked to his poetry, both share the same aesthetics

Course objectives

  • Familiarity with the literary and historical context of Baudelaire’s work

  • Knowledge of his poetics and aesthetics

  • Knowledge of the main texts of Les fleurs du mal and Le spleen de Paris

  • Experience with poetry analysis and the rules of versification

  • Knowledge of modern and contemporary views on Baudelaire.


Semester I, friday 9.15-11.00 hours. Rooster

Mode of instruction


Course Load

  • Course hours: 28 hrs (2 hrs a week)

  • Reading and assignments: 136 hrs

  • Oral presentation + paper: 126 hrs.

Assessment method

  • participation (20%)

  • essay (50%)

  • oral presentation (30%)

In the case of a fail your are entitled to rewrite the essay.


Blackboard will be used to provide students with additional information/reading material.

Reading list

  • Baudelaire, Les fleurs du mal, Le Livre de Poche (série Classiques)

  • Baudelaire, Le Spleen de Paris/Petits poèmes en prose (Le Livre de Poche)

  • Baudelaire, Ecrits sur l’art (Le livre de poche)


Students should register through uSis. If you have any questions, please contact the departmental office, tel. 071 5272101 or mail.

Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply.

Contact information

MA Literary Studies departmental office, Van Wijkplaats 3, room 002A. Tel. 071 527 2101 mail. Coordinator of Studies: Ms S.J. de Kok, MA, P.N. van Eyckhof 3, room 1.01b.

For content matters: mw. dr. A.E. Schulte Nordholt