Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Walter Horatio Pater 1839-1894 Late Victorian Aestheticism.

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "Walter Horatio Pater 1839-1894 Late Victorian Aestheticism."— Presentation transcript:

1 Walter Horatio Pater 1839-1894 Late Victorian Aestheticism

2 “She is older than the rocks among which she sits; like the vampire, she has been dead many times, and learned the secrets of the grave; and has been a diver in deep seas, and keeps their fallen day about her; and trafficked for strange webs with Eastern merchants, and, as Leda, was the mother of Helen of Troy, and, as Saint Anne, the mother of Mary;... The fancy of a perpetual life, sweeping together ten thousand experiences, is an old one…” Pater, “La Gioconda” 1511 Late Victorian Aestheticism

3 “Let us begin with that which is without—our physical life. Fix upon it in one of its more exquisite intervals, the moment, for instance, of delicious recoil from the flood of water in summer heat. What is the whole physical life in that moment but a combination of natural elements to which science gives their names?... Our physical life is a perpetual motion of them— the passage of the blood, the waste and repairing of the brain under every ray of light and sound— processes which science reduces to simpler and more elementary forces.” Conclusion to The Renaissance 1511

4 Late Victorian Aestheticism “To burn always with this hard, gem-like flame, to maintain this ecstasy, is success in life. In a sense it might even be said that our failure is to form habits: for, after all, habit is relative to a stereotyped world, and meantime it is only the roughness of the eye that makes two persons, things, situations, seem alike. While all melts under our feet, we may well grasp at any exquisite passion, or any contribution to knowledge that seems by a lifted horizon to set the spirit free for a moment, or any stirring of the sense, strange dyes, strange colours, and curious odours, or work of the artist’s hands, or the face of one’s friend.” Conclusion to Renaissance 1512 Aubrey Beardsley, “The Dancer’s Reward” (1894) illustration for Oscar Wilde's Salomé

5 A George du Maurier, Punch cartoon (30 Oct. 1880) in response to the theories of aestheticism in the “Conclusion” to Pater’s Studies in the History of the Renaissance: “For art comes to you proposing frankly to give nothing but the highest quality to your moments as they pass, and simply for those moment’s sake” Pater, “Conclusion” 1513 *************************************** “Aesthetic Bridegroom: ‘It is quite consummate, is it not!’ Intense Bride: ‘It is, indeed! Oh, Algernon, let us live up to it!’” Late Victorian Aestheticism

6 George du Maurier, Punch (c1897) Late Victorian Aestheticism Aesthetic Youth: “I hope by degrees to have this room filled nothing but the most perfectly beautiful things.” Simple-Minded Guardsman: “And what are you going to do with these then?”

7 Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde 1854 – 1900 Late Victorian Aestheticism

8 Wilde’s mother Lady Jane Wilde, she used the pseudonym Speranza in literary circles Late Victorian Aestheticism

9 Matthew Arnold 1822-1888 Late Victorian Aestheticism “The critical power is of lower rank than the creative.... It is undeniable that the exercise of a creative power, that a free creative activity, is the highest function of man.... The critical power... see[s] the object as in itself it really is....” The Function of Criticism 1385-6

10 Henry Furniss, Punch, July 30, 1881 Late Victorian Aestheticism “Criticism is itself an art. And just as artistic creation implies the working of the critical faculty, and, indeed, without it cannot be said to exist at all, so Criticism is really creative in the highest sense of the word. Criticism is, in fact, both creative and independent.” “The Critic as Artist” 1692

11 Lord Alfred Douglas (“Bosie”), the love of Wilde’s life and the son of the Marquess of Queensbury Late Victorian Aestheticism “I would say that the highest Criticism, being the purest form of personal impression, is in its way more creative than creation.... That is what the highest criticism really is, the record of one’s own soul. It is more fascinating than history, as it is concerned simply with oneself.... It is the only civilized form of autobiography, as it deals not with events, but with the thoughts one’s life.... with the spiritual moods and imaginative passions of the mind.” “The Critic as Artist” 1693

12 “Who, again, cares whether Mr. Pater has put into the portrait of Mona Lisa something that Leonardo never dreamed of?... [S]o the picture becomes more wonderful to us than it really is, and reveals to us a secret of which, in truth, it knows nothing, and the music of [Pater’s] mystical prose is as sweet in our ears as was that flute-player’s music that lent to the lips of La Gioconda those subtle and poisonous curves.” Wilde, “The Critic as Artist” 1694 Late Victorian Aestheticism

13 Thomas Nast, Harper’s Weekly (1882) Contra Arnold, Wilde believes that “the highest Criticism,” treats art “simply as a starting point for a new creation.” It “criticizes not merely the individual work of art, but Beauty itself, and fills with wonder a form which the artist may have left void, or not understood, or understood incompletely.” The aim of the critic, then, is “to see the object as in itself it really is not.” “The Critic as Artist” 1694-5

14 Oscar Wilde’s tomb at Père Lachaise cemetery, Paris Late Victorian Aestheticism “The critic reproduces the work that he criticizes in a mode that is never imitative and part of whose charm may really consist in the rejection of resemblance, and shows us in this way not merely the meaning but also the mystery of Beauty, and, by transforming each art into literature, solves once for all the problem of Art’s unity.” “The Critic as Artist” 1697

15 Late Victorian Aestheticism Breathe, keep breathing, don’t lose your nerve

Download ppt "Walter Horatio Pater 1839-1894 Late Victorian Aestheticism."

Similar presentations

Ads by Google