Nineteenth-century French prose poet, essayist, translator, and critic associated with the Symbolist and Modernist literary movements. His best-known works include Les Fleurs du mal, Les paradis artificiels, and Le Spleen de Paris.
He studied in Lyon and Paris, but was sent to India in 1841 after his stepfather discovered his reckless behavior regarding prostitutes and over-spending.
He translated the poems of
He had a drawn-out affair with Jeanne DuVal and shorter relationships with an actress (Marie Daubrun) and a courtesan (Apollonnie Sabatier). Throughout his life, however, he was most driven by the need for his mother's approval.
He was a close friend of French painter Edouard Manet, who included Baudelaire's image in his famous Music in the Tuileries painting.