Aesthetics, or Aestheicism is art movement in the late 19th century that valued the appearance of literature, music, fonts and the arts over their functions. According to Aestheticism, art and fonts should be produced to be beautiful, rather than to teach a lesson, create a parallel, or perform another didactic purpose, a sentiment best illustrated by the slogan "art for art's sake." Aestheticism flourished in the 1870s and 1880s, gaining prominence and the support of notable writers such as Walter Pater and Oscar Wilde.
Aestheticism challenged the values of mainstream Victorian culture, as many Victorians believed that literature and art fulfilled important ethical roles. Writing in The Guardian, Fiona McCarthy states that "the aesthetic movement stood in stark and sometimes shocking contrast to the crass materialism of Britain in the 19th century."
History[edit | edit source]
Beliefs[edit | edit source]
Art for Art's Sake[edit | edit source]
Aestheticism advocates the concept of "art for art's sake," meaning that the value of art lies in its intrinsic beauty and form, rather than any moral or utilitarian purpose. Art is seen as a means of expressing individual creativity and sensibility.
Decadence[edit | edit source]
Aestheticism is often associated with the Decadent movement, which embraced a fascination with the morbid, the exotic, and the mysterious. Decadent artists and writers often explored themes of decay, indulgence, and the rejection of societal norms.
Emphasis on Sensation[edit | edit source]
Aestheticism prioritizes the sensory and emotional impact of art. It encourages the cultivation of heightened sensations and a keen appreciation for the aesthetic qualities of the world.
Aesthetic Experience as a Way of Life[edit | edit source]
Aestheticism extends beyond the realm of art and is considered a philosophy of life. Followers of Aestheticism sought to integrate beauty into all aspects of their lives, from personal relationships to home décor.
Aestheticism places a strong emphasis on individualism and personal expression. Artists and thinkers associated with the movement often rejected conventional societal expectations in favor of embracing their own unique perspectives.
Symbolism and Symbolic Imagery[edit | edit source]
Aestheticism often employs symbolic imagery and allegory to convey emotions and ideas. The use of symbols and evocative language is meant to create a more profound and subjective aesthetic experience.
Critique of Materialism and Industrialization[edit | edit source]
Some Aestheticists were critical of the materialism and industrialization of the late 19th century, viewing them as detrimental to the appreciation of beauty and the cultivation of a refined sensibility.
Relations[edit | edit source]
Friends[edit | edit source]
- Post-Modernism - The art aesthetic is pretty good.
- Fantasyism - Fantasy is an amazing genre of art.
- Capitalism - The Fashion Industry is based.Collecting currency for aesthetic purposes is also cool.
- Olympism - We both aestheticize the physical body.
- Eroticism - We both admire the beauty of physical body.
- Consumerism - Glamour is beautiful.
Frenemies[edit | edit source]
- Enlightenment - No aesthetics + rationalist + no thoughts. At least it started steampunk.
Enemies[edit | edit source]