Stomaching the Salon. The Sense of Taste in Le Tintamarre’s “Boulangerie du Louvre” and Baudelaire’s Salon de 1846


Baudelaire’s Salon de 1846 appears to be devoted to the textual transposition of visual experience. Yet the text features a coherent body of tropes pertaining to the sense of taste--the physiological sense of flavor perception--and the gastronomic field more generally. These, I argue, are central to Baudelaire’s attempt to engage with a non-elite and non-specialist audience. The gustatory tropes bespeak the influence of journalism on the Salon de 1846, and in particular a contemporaneous strand of “gastronomic” art criticism: the 1840s “Boulangerie du Louvre” series from the “petit journal” Le Tintamarre, known and contributed to by Baudelaire. Through a comparative textual analysis of the two critical works, I show how Baudelaire adopts and adapts these culinary tropes. While Le Tintamarre uses the sense of taste to satirize the Salon, Baudelaire employs it to conceptualize and heighten the sensorial and corporeal pleasures of art for a bourgeois readership. 

Philippa R. G. Lewis
Release Year:
Project MUSE: 
2013 (42.1-2)