English Aestheticism – characteristics and main themes of the artistic movement – SummaryEnglish Aestheticism is cultural, artistic and literary movement, flourished in Europe during the 19th century.
Aestheticism flourished after a strong and violent break with the Victorian Age, that was characterized by a Puritan culture which demonized sexuality in every form (artistic too). Moreover, Puritanism of Victorian Age was characterized by a strict morality, based on values, that had to be respected in order to be respectable; however this cultural conception was effective: in fact, this values were only a mask in order to hide many social problems.
Aesthetic movement is based on the valorization of Beauty, Art and its aim is the research of Beauty, especially through the style. One of the most important English writer of Aestheticism is Oscar Wilde, whose masterpiece is The Picture of Dorian Grey, which expresses in its characteristics the most important feature of Aestheticism.
Oscar Wilde affirmed that artists and art create Beauty – that is the only aim of artistic works – so there are not immoral books, but just books that are or not well written.
Moreover, artists have to research Beauty in their life too, because life as well is a work of art that has to be discovered. In fact, according to aesthetic movement’s conception, in order to live a true and beautiful life it’s necessary to feel every emotion and experiment everything.