Aestheticism Art Movement

Aestheticism Art Movement

The Aesthetic Movement sought to terminate¬†the Industrial Age's¬†materialism by actually delivering work that was beautiful instead of having a deeper purpose ‚Äď 'Art for Art's Sake.' This 'revival of beauty' produced some of the most complex and sensual¬†works.


What is the Aestheticism movement?

The aesthetic movement was a late-nineteenth-century movement that emphasized pure beauty and "art for the sake of art," emphasizing the visual and sensory characteristics of art and design over utilitarian, moral, or moral implications.

Aesthetes valued the enrichment of pleasure and the search for beauty over utilitarianism and were heavily influenced by Pre-Raphaelites like William Morris.

What is the aesthetic movement's main principle?

Aestheticism was a late-nineteenth-century European art movement centered on the belief that art exists solely for the sake of its beauty, and that it does not need to serve any political, educational, or other purposes.


What distinguishes Aesthetic Movement from other types of movement?

The ambition to create "art for the sake of art" and to elevate the taste, the quest of attractiveness, and self-expression over ethical demands and rigid uniformity was at the heart of it.

Origins of Aestheticism

The movement emerged as a response to prevalent utilitarian social ideologies and what was viewed as the industrial age's harshness and vacuousness.

Immanuel Kant, a philosopher who lived in the eighteenth century, proposed the autonomy of aesthetic criteria, separating them from ethical, utilitarian, and pleasure considerations.

J.W. von Goethe, J.L. Tieck, and others in Germany, as well as Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Thomas Carlyle in England, advanced this theory. Madame de Stael, Théophile Gautier, and the philosopher Victor Cousin promoted it in France, coining the phrase l'art pour l'art ("art for the sake of art") in 1818.

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood had established the elements of Aestheticism in England beginning in 1848, and the artwork of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones, and Algernon Charles Swinburne represented it in conveying a desire for a standard of beauty through intentional neoclassicism. 


Aesthetic In literature

Oscar Wilde and the poet Algernon Swinburne were both supporters of aestheticism in writing. A large amount of satirical literature on the two authors that appeared at the time reflects skepticism of their beliefs.

In Patience, Gilbert and Sullivan, creators of the humorous operetta, sneered at aesthetic standards (1881). One of the most renowned artists, George Du Maurier was allegedly inspired by a remark made by Oscar Wilde. 

Aesthetic Visual Artists

  • Dante Gabriel Rossetti
  • Simeon Solomon
  • James McNeill Whistler
  • Albert Joseph Moore
  • Aubrey Beardsley

Aesthetic In the visual arts

Aesthetic is a term used in the visual arts to describe how something looks. The idea of art for the sake of art was massively successful in the visual arts.

Many of Dante Gabriel Rossetti's later paintings, such as Monna Vanna are beautiful representations of attractive ladies, rather than being linked to a literary plot as in earlier Pre-Raphaelite works. 

A similar process may be observed in most of Sir Edward Burne-Jones' work, such as The Golden Stairs (1880), which captures the aesthetic tone with a long line of lovely women going down a flight of stairs with no particular narrative. 


Aestheticism's Characteristics

While artists from all fields added to the aesthetic movement, there were a few recurring motifs in their work.

Art for the sake of art: Victor Cousin, a French philosopher, invented the expression "art pour l'art" in the early nineteenth century, which became synonymous with the aesthetic movement. 

Aesthetes argued that a piece of artwork should be judged on its aesthetic value rather than its ethical or philosophical significance. This viewpoint ran opposite to prevailing belief in Victorian England, which was that art should be used to instill culturally acceptable ideals and greater morals.

Influences from a wide range of sources: French impressionist painters, East Asian art, and early Renaissance art all influenced the aesthetic movement. Because of this receptivity to a wide range of art forms, the movement's aesthetic became even more varied.

Personal artistry was emphasized: Throughout a time when mechanization was prevalent, the aesthetes took the time to make artworks with rich colors and eloquent designs. Numerous areas of fine art, such as architecture, sculpture, and painting, as well as decorative arts, such as ceramics, interior design, fashion, furniture manufacturing, and metals, were affected by this aesthetic style. Aestheticism encompassed not just "high" arts, and also pottery, metalwork, fashion, furniture, and interior design.


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