In Freud, art is not the only palliative measure, yet the most important one. The Freudian theory of aesthetics departs from the unconscious, and it is a theory of repression and the return of repressed (through art). Art confronts reality; in more poetic terms, we could say that artists express the social subconscious, the true social-self to confront it against social neurosis that culture creates in its fight against nature. That is actually the reason why artists are so often rejected by society, a repressed and neurotic society who reacts against a form of negation of its culture. That would be a good resume. Of course, there is mucho more in the Freudian theory of aesthetics (the way artists are even more exposed to neurosis due to social rejection, etc.) but such is enough to go where we are intending.
So, what about Baudelaire? Baudelaire died when Freud was only a child. He was,
perhaps, the first poet and thinker that took conscience of the fact that art
(poetry/ beauty) was condemned by the same society that asked for it and was supposed
to enjoy it. Baudelaire created the figure of the Dandy and Dandyism as a way
for the true poet/artist/beauty lover to escape from society taking part of it
at the same time. A man how know himself to be out of society (above it) but
irremissibly condemned to live within society.
It is risky to say Baudelaire was a major influence for Freud, but that is for
sure that we can read some paragraphs by Baudelaire which could be referred as
pre-freudian, in the way the place of an individual in the world and perception
and figuring out are seen. To put it simple: Baudelaire, like Freud did later,
pointed out the alienation of the self within society and the fight of such
self against said society and inner self constrictions created by culture as
social construction. We could consider every thinker before Baudelaire as
acritic regarding that point. Besides, the natural world is for Baudelaire an
ensemble of symbols we have to decipher, giving them an specific meaning. If we
erase the name of Baudelaire from the previous sentence we easily could think
that we are talking about Freud instead.
All that is in Baudelaire's aesthetics (and that's for sure that aesthetics are
the centre of Baudelaire thought) and we could take it as a rough draft of what
Freud would say (about aesthetics but about society too; again, everything is connected
with everything in Freudian thinking) decades later.
We can see the main difference in the attitude. Baudelaire rejects society but,
at the same time, make the assumption that individual is condemned within its
insurmountable boundaries. He proposes Dandyism as an attitude against social
constrictions but Dandy is still condemned, and that's for him the end of the
story. Regarding Freud, perhaps because we are talking of a scientific and not
of an artist as Baudelaire was (and so, his theories are less involved in that Dionysian
attitude in which Baudelaire's were) was keener to find a solution for
alienation, neurosis or the way we wish to call it. Where Baudelaire proposed
Dandyism (a way to present oneself before society, taking part of it but
fighting against it at the same time, enjoying arts and beauty at a greater
level but anyway condemned to boredom and misunderstanding) Freud proposed Psychoanalysis.
Freud opens the possibility for the individual to get sane, to be happy through
the treatment of neurosis. In that sense, arts in Freud are small and momentary
doors to sanity, a sanity that is always a possibility. Such a possibility is
denied by Baudelaire.