Studies in the History of the Renaissance

ISBN-10: 0199535078
ISBN-13: 9780199535071
Edition: 2010
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Description: 'art comes to you professing frankly to give nothing but the highest quality to your moments as they pass, and simply for those moments' sake'In Studies in the History of the Renaissance (1873), a diffident Oxford don produced an audacious and  More...

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Book details

List price: $8.99
Copyright year: 2010
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 2/11/2010
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 224
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.616
Language: English

'art comes to you professing frankly to give nothing but the highest quality to your moments as they pass, and simply for those moments' sake'In Studies in the History of the Renaissance (1873), a diffident Oxford don produced an audacious and incalculably influential defence of aestheticism. Through his highly idiosyncratic readings of some of the finest paintings, sculptures, and poems of the French and Italian Renaissance, Pater redefined the practice of criticism as an impressionistic, almost erotic exploration of the critic's aesthetic responses. At the same time, reclaiming the Hellenism that he saw as the mostcharacteristic aspect of the Renaissance, he implicitly celebrated homoerotic friendship.Pater's infamous 'Conclusion', which forever linked him with the decadent movement, scandalized many with its insistence on making pleasure the sole motive of life, even as it charmed fellow aesthetes such as Oscar Wilde. This edition of Studies reproduces the text of the first edition, recapturing its initial impact, and the Introduction celebrates its doomed attempt to stand out against the processes of industrialization.

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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