Flâneur- a man who saunters around observing society
The Flaneur had rich associations; it was about wanting to experience the sights and sounds of the city to aid people’s own development and about appreciating the small things within cities such as strolls in the park and new shops that were arising. In 1863 Charles Baudelaire wrote an essay entitled “The Painter of Modern Life” where he explained that he wanted artists to break away from traditional art and immerse themselves in the new contemporary Parisian life.
What effect do you think this phenomenon had on the world of the artist in Western society from the latter part of the 19th century?
With so many changes going on around this time, I think the flaneur had a positive effect on the world of the artist. With the development of street art, it showed people that anyone could be an artist and with artists working along the streets of Paris, it made art more accessible to a wider range of people. With photography and the ability to capture snapshots, photographers developed ‘street photography’ and with the invention of hand held cameras anyone was able to take images. With the new fascination with the world around us people became more open to different types of art and other peoples interpretation of the world.