The Renaissance: Studies in Art and Poetry

Front Cover
Neeland Media, 2011 - 92 pages
Walter Pater (1839-1894) attained a B.A. degree in Classics from Queen's College, Oxford, followed soon after by a M.A. degree from Brasenose College, Oxford, where he was made a Fellow in 1865. That same year Pater toured Italy, where he discovered what would become a lifelong passion for masters of the Italian Renaissance like Leonardo da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli, Michelangelo, among many others. In 1877 he published "The Renaissance: Studies in Art and Poetry," which examines the French, Italian and German writers, painters and sculptors of the thirteenth to eighteen century. It is a collection of beautifully written essays on various artistic movements of the Renaissance, and concludes with Pater's urgent call to readers to experience life as fully as possible. For Pater, Victorian sensibilities suppressed true enjoyment in life. His "art for art's sake" philosophy found in this work became the manifesto of the Aesthetic Movement.

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About the author (2011)

Walter Pater (born August4, 1839) was an Englaish essayist, critic and writer of fiction. He attended Queen's College, Oxford. His earliest work, an essay on Samuel Taylor Coleridge, appeared in 1866 in The Westminster Review; Pater soon became a regular contributor to a number of serious reviews, especially The Fortnightly, which published his essays on Leonardo da Vinci, Pico Della Mirandola, Botticelli, and the poetry of Michelangelo. All were included in his first, and perhaps most influential, book, Studies in the History of the Renaissance (1873; reissued as The Renaissance, 1877). In 1885 Pater's only novel, Marius the Epicurean, appeared. Ostensibly, Marius is a historical novel, set in the time of Marcus Aurelius and tracing the philosophical development of its young protagonist and his gradual approach to Christianity. Practically, however, Marius is more a meditation of the philosophical choices that confronted Pater, or any thinker, during the late Victorian period. In light of the work's underrealized characterizations and the lack of any but intellectual action, it is difficult to justify calling it a novel in the usual sense of the term. Yet, as a highly polished prose piece, and as an argument for an austere yet intensely experienced way of life, it holds a singular place in Victorian literature. On July 30, 1894 Pater died suddenly in his Oxford home of heart failure brought on by rheumatic fever, at the age of 54. He was buried at Holywell Cemetery, Oxford.

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