The Aesthetic Movement

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9780714830001: The Aesthetic Movement

Originating from the Greek, aesthetics is the name which has been given since classical times to the study of beauty and the nature of the beautiful. In the second half of the nineteenth century, fuelled by the writings of Walter Pater and Baudelaire and the art of the Pre-Raphaelites, British poets, painters, designers and architects began to turn to aesthetic concerns and to place more emphasis on ornament and on the past. The result was the Aesthetic Movement and a new freedom in all aspects of the fine and decorative arts. In architecture, the dogmatism of Gothic gave way to the charm of Queen Anne. In interiors, heavy Victorian forms were replaced by the lighter, fresher Japanese-inspired shapes and in the graphic arts, innovative methods, coupled with a new approach to form led to the revitalization of illustration and book design.
Believing that beauty should permeate every sphere of life, the Aesthetes' rallying cry was 'Art for Art's Sake'. Oscar Wilde, one of the movement's most characteristic and charismatic members, was heard to complain about the difficulty of 'living up to one's blue and white china' and his flamboyant dress and lifestyle made him one of the most widely known figures of the late nineteenth century. Together with James McNeill Whistler, Aubrey Beardsley and a host of other colourful figures, Wilde felt very strongly about elegance and richness and it was this very coherence of philosophy that held the Aesthetic Movement together and gave it a lasting influence. From the languid figures of Rossetti to the sunflowers of Wilde and the flamboyance of Ellen Terry, Aesthetic motifs cannot be easily forgotten.

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About the Author:

Lionel Lambourne, OBE, was Head of Paintings at the Victoria and Albert Museum from 1986-93.

Review:

The aesthetic movement (whose motto was "art for art's sake", swept through North America and England in the late 19th century and touched every sphere of the fine and decorative arts. All aspects of design experienced new freedom and revitalization, perhaps best personified by the colorful Oscar Wilde and Aubrey Beardsley. Huge social and cultural changes occurred because more than a decorative style, the aesthetic movement reflected an attitude. For the firs time a direct correlation was being made between beautiful surroundings and the quality of one's life, and beautiful objects were being championed as fit for everybody and not just for the privileged elite. The movement's emphasis was on interiors and artifacts that would improve the quality of life for their sheer beauty. The decorative arts were completely reevaluated and elevated to new status; the industrial revolution was resisted; an explosion of new clubs and organizations abounded, and people could not get enough of books on how to decorate one's home. Lionel Lambourne's The Aesthetic Movement is a monumental work on the subject. Original scholarship combines with a flair for descriptive writing and an eye for the perfect representative example have combined to produce a seminal and definitive work that will grace every personal, academic or community library art history collection. -- Midwest Book Review

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Book Description Phaidon Press Ltd, United Kingdom, 1996. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Aesthetic Movement swept through England in the latter part of the nineteenth century, touching every sphere of the fine and decorative arts and bringing a new freedom to all aspects of design. In architecture, the dogmatism of Gothic gave way to the charm of Queen Anne. In interiors, heavy Victorian forms were replaced by the lighter, fresher Japanese-inspired shapes; in the graphic arts, innovative methods - coupled with a new approach to form - led to the revitalization of illustration and book design. Personified by such colourful figures as James McNeill Whistler, Oscar Wilde and Aubrey Beardsley, the movement was held together by the coherence of its philosophy and its adamant faith in elegance and richness. This beautiful and witty book will prove invaluable to enthusiasts of design and architecture and to all those intrigued by the social history of the period. Bookseller Inventory # AA99780714830001

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Book Description Phaidon Press Ltd, United Kingdom, 1996. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Aesthetic Movement swept through England in the latter part of the nineteenth century, touching every sphere of the fine and decorative arts and bringing a new freedom to all aspects of design. In architecture, the dogmatism of Gothic gave way to the charm of Queen Anne. In interiors, heavy Victorian forms were replaced by the lighter, fresher Japanese-inspired shapes; in the graphic arts, innovative methods - coupled with a new approach to form - led to the revitalization of illustration and book design. Personified by such colourful figures as James McNeill Whistler, Oscar Wilde and Aubrey Beardsley, the movement was held together by the coherence of its philosophy and its adamant faith in elegance and richness. This beautiful and witty book will prove invaluable to enthusiasts of design and architecture and to all those intrigued by the social history of the period. Bookseller Inventory # AA99780714830001

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Book Description Phaidon, London & Bombay, 1996. Hard Cover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. Quarto. 240 pp; fully illustrated in color and b/w; bibliography; index. Cloth with dj. Fine/Fine. In the second half of the nineteenth-century, British poets, painters, designers and architects began to turn to aesthetic concerns and to place more emphasis on ornament and on the past. The result was the Aesthetic Movement and a new freedom in all aspects of the fine and decorative arts. Bookseller Inventory # 002565

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