Art And Criticism: The Aesthetic Movement

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By the end of the Victorian age and the 19th century, a new critical movement headed by Oscar Wilde. The Aesthetical movement came as a reaction to prevailing utilitarian Victorian social philosophies. It argues that art and criticism as only cultivating the ennobling sensibility of beauty, therefore, art is superior to life and criticism is superior to art. However, this criticism is so much attacked and criticized. First of all, the Victorian society was extremely conservative. Literature, at that time, was so much associated with moral values and ethics as it intended to come face to face with realism. Further, the mainstream Victorian art focused on the utility and the moral message of the work of art. Later…show more content…
It was launched mainly to create "art for art's sake" and to exalt taste, the pursuit of beauty, and self-expression over moral expectations and restrictive conformity. The freedom of creative expression and sensuality that Aestheticism promoted exhilarated its adherents, but it also made them the object of ridicule among conservative Victorians. Nonetheless, by rejecting art's traditionally didactic obligations and focusing on self-expression, the Aesthetic movement set the stage for global, twentieth-century modern art. This movement is supported by notable and contemporary critic figure such as Walter Pater and Oscar Wilde. Oscar Wilde was a contemporary critic and a playwright. Further, he was a popular literary figure in late Victorian England. He lectured as a poet, art critic and a leading proponent of the principles of aestheticism. Thus, Wilde established himself as a leading proponent of the aesthetic movement, the theory of art and literature that emphasized the pursuit of beauty for its own sake, rather than to promote any political or social viewpoint. In his critical treatise essay "The Critic as Artist," he adopted and developed Pater's ideas on aestheticism. He is extremely impressionistic and…show more content…
Thus, Aestheticism was roundly criticized. Oscar Wild's "The Critic As Artist" was highly attacked as it highlights the importance of the form and beauty over the content and the useful meaning of the text. To illustrate, Wilde's essay stresses upon the fact that personal impressions of the surface beauty of the work of art are everything needed to view it rather than analyzing its deeper meaning. His criticism, therefore, strips the text out of its meaning and hidden messages, it
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