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The Aesthetic Movement


Walter's Pater was an Oxford professor who is considered the high priest of the movement, and his philosophy in which he said that in art, as in music, form and matter are indistinguishable and life had to be lived as a work of art, appealed to a group of British artists who in the 1870's reacted against the Victorian ideals of morality and Puritanism on the basis that the cult of beauty was the central factor in life.
So, the movement born as a reaction against Victorian morality, the repression of instincts, the materialism and the procreation.
In England, the Aesthetic movement reached its height in the 1890's.
The aesthetes stated that life should copy art and not the opposite.
The aesthetes live life in search of pleasure and sensations. Art has to be used to follow beauty. So, life is above all art. The exaltation of the worship of the senses are often condemned by men who are terrified by natural instincts that are stronger than themselves.
The Aesthetic movement found his expression also in interior design such as furniture, ceramics, textiles and wallpaper. Two of the major artists of that period are the English architect William Morris who produced rich, colored and flowery patterned wallpapers, and the painter Edward Burne Jones. Together, they founded the own design firm.
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