Please Sign in to start your review. Otherwise, kindly click the X icon to close. Read using. Author: Walter Pater. For more information, click here. These, with other similar studies, were collected in his Studies in the History of the Renaissance in Pater, now at the centre of a small but interesting circle in Oxford, gained respect in London and elsewhere, numbering the Pre-Raphaelites among his friends This, his chief contribution to literature, was published early in In it Pater displays, with fullness and elaboration, his ideal of the aesthetic life, his cult of beauty as opposed to bare asceticism, and his theory of the stimulating effect of the pursuit of beauty as an ideal of its own.
The principles of what would be known as the Aesthetic movement were partly traceable to Pater and his effect was particularly felt on one of the movements leading proponents, Oscar Wilde, a former student of Pater at Oxford. However, this technique contains the seed of its own dissolution. For Pater, there are discrete aesthetic moments offered to the intellect to construct its own unity, forms yielding definitions and boundaries of cultural discourse.
But in the 20th century, the existentialists rejected the mere play of such forms. In fact, the teacher stood on the other side of that bridge dividing and distinguishing the Romantic sensibility from the modern one. He was not a hedonist, but an aesthete. With this sense of the splendor of our experience and of its awful brevity, gathering all we are into one desperate effort to see and touch, we shall hardly have time to make theories about the things we see and touch. He is the central self bringing his singular experiences into the whole of his guiding intelligence.
And this divides him from the 20th and 21st centuries; this keeps him from being wholly modern. As close to the doorstep as he comes, he remains outside. But he is so wonderfully there, an almost reassuring figure — if only we could be more like him — the favorite grandfather of many artists and intellectuals, a source of wisdom too remote to follow but close enough to relish quoting. Jul 06, Bruce rated it really liked it. After coming across an excerpt from The Renaissance in the Norton critical edition of Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray , I decided to satisfy my curiosity and read the whole work.
Though Pater is often described as a proponent of art for art's sake and thus one of the key figures in the late nineteenth century aestheticism caricatured by Wilde , I found him to be a relentless searcher for metaphysical meaning in the ineffable details of art, e. The Renaissance is a rich exposition of such details in the works of various key figures from that period, and an invitation to mine it and art from all periods for nuggets of experience with which to come closer to the "quintessence of life.
Pater, apparently, was not particularly interested in that information, but rather in attaining the "highest quality to your moments", or, as he infelicitously puts it, "getting as many pulsations as possible into the given time.
After the rich suggestiveness of the analyses of da Vinci, Michaelangelo, et al. But the suggestiveness remains, despite, his interpretation; The Renaissance does regale the reader with observations of a world filled with intimations from art that man is indeed made in the image of God. It matters little if Pater did not believe in that God if he has so eloquently laid out the evidence. Sep 11, S. A fine example of creative subversion. Ostensibly a collection of critical essays addressing subjects such as Da Vinci, Bottecelli, Pico della Mirandolla, and others, Pater uses them to demonstrate his own aesthetic philosophy in practice — a refined and subjective approach to the interpretation of creative expression.
What Pater reveals, in addition to a delightful command of the written word, is not the supposed intent of the artists themselves, but rather what Pater himself sees in them. His A fine example of creative subversion. His theory is in stark contrast to the tradition of those which hold art to be defined and judged by certain universal criteria.
View 1 comment. Nov 05, Peter Mcloughlin rated it really liked it Shelves: to , media , european-history , owned-books , toce , to , general-history , nonfiction , world-history , biography. Art criticism from the s. Fairly influential on 20th-century views of the Renaissance.
Sep 18, Richard S rated it it was amazing Shelves: powys , art-history. I felt after finishing my Powys project that some of the books were worth going back and re-reading. This one was first on the list, given its importance to me personally and to the project as a whole. Also I felt it deserved a longer review. Where do I start? Walter Pater is the founder of the aesthetic movement, and this was its foundational text. If only within the history of culture and art, this book is of incredible importance, but also it was the first book ever written where the critic's I felt after finishing my Powys project that some of the books were worth going back and re-reading.
If only within the history of culture and art, this book is of incredible importance, but also it was the first book ever written where the critic's writing itself rose to the level of art see Wilde's essay, the Critic as Artist, which was about Pater , and as a result, you can trace the lines of the work through Auerbach's Mimesis all the way to Derrida.
Walter Pater also founded the historical fiction genre with "Marius the Epicurean". Walter Pater is "everywhere" in late Victorian writing, his influence greatest among the Wilde crowd, but even where he is not quoted you can feel his influence. First of all - this book, as the first if its kind, is not ordinary art criticism, just like Herodotus is not normal history, or Don Quixote not a normal novel. Pater picks out various artists, some obscure, some not as obscure, and uses them as a vehicle for his overarching art and cultural theories, which are as profound as they are beautiful.
For example, in his piece on Giorgione, he begins by talking about painting, music and poetry as not "different languages of one and the same fixed quantity of imaginative thought" but that "the sensuous material of each art brings with it a special phase or quality of beauty, untranslatable into the forms of any other, an order of impressions distinct in kind Pater sometimes goes over the top, perhaps, most famously in his long elegy about the Mona Lisa - and yet what else explains the hordes at the Louvre or the world's fascination with this painting?
He took Botticelli out of obscurity with "Renaissance" - and for that alone we should be grateful. Occasionally - and sadly - he discusses paintings which were later attributed to other artists as being by the artists he discusses, so I'm not sure this book is where you would go to learn about Da Vinci's paintings in particular.
The piece on Wincklemann drags a bit, and sometimes he goes on distant tangents. And yet you are so often brought back by another profound observation. So - on the one hand, insightful art criticism, but moreso - a view of life, a way to live - and this becomes summed up in Pater's incredible conclusion, possibly the four greatest pages of English prose ever written.
The conclusion comes completely out of nowhere, it is a statement not on the Renaissance, but on how to live.
[PDF] The renaissance : Studies in art and poetry , by Walter Pater - Semantic Scholar
You can't even quote from it because the whole thing is one giant quote. I would also point out its rather extreme genius contains an irregular number of oddities, "phosphorous and lime", for instance, which give it a unique and individual character. So where does it lead?
- Microvascular Anastomoses for Cerebral Ischemia.
- Physics Reports vol.142;
- Catalog Record: The renaissance : studies in art and poetry | HathiTrust Digital Library!
- Wittgenstein: The Philosopher and his Works (Publications of the Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society).
For Pater: Marius is a different kind of book, but of a similar quality. Pater's other writings on the Powys list, Imaginary Portraits, Plato and Platonism, and Gaston, are kind of like shadows of Renaissance, worth reading, but almost like appendices. In the 's, Oxford graduates memorized and chanted Pater's famous conclusion as an act of rebellion against their superiors.
It represents in many ways the summit of Western culture and civilization, with everything that followed a reaction against its presumptions portrayed as snobbery and sensitivity portrayed as effeminacy or effeteness. Personally I view the aesthetic movement as captured by Pater as the pinnacle of Western art criticism, in the same way I've come to view Goethe as the pinnacle of literature, and Beethoven of music.
While my personal relationship with aesteticism - in terms of living a life to its demands - is problematic, and I fear promoting it as a way of life to others, for which a very few would be in the least prepared, in Pater's pure form it is difficult to find even the slightest thing to criticise; I feel that everything that followed was tearing it down, mocking it, not the thing itself but the attitude it represented.
- Inner Productivity: A Mindful Path to Efficiency and Enjoyment in Your Work.
- Getting Past No: Negotiating in Difficult Situations;
- Beyond lean production : emphasizing speed and innovation to beat the competition.
- Diskrete Strukturen [Lecture notes].
- Renaissance: Studies in Art and Poetry?
For, after all, what is there greater or more to say than the very end of the book: "Great passions may give us this quickened sense of life, ecstasy, and the passion of love Only be sure it is passion- that it does yield you this fruit of a quickened, multiplied consciousness. Of such wisdom, the poetic passion, the desire of beauty, the love of art for its own sake, has most.
For art comes to you proposing frankly to give nothing but the highest quality to your moments as they pass, and simply for those moments' sake. Let us begin with that which is without—our physical life. Fix upon it in one of its more exquisite intervals, the moment, for instance, of delicious recoil from the flood of water in summer heat. What is the whole physical life in that moment but a combination of natural elements to which science gives their names? But these elements, phosphorus and lime and de "To regard all things and principles of things as inconstant modes or fashions has more and more become the tendency of modern thought.
But these elements, phosphorus and lime and delicate fibres, are present not in the human body alone: we detect them in places most remote from it.
Our physical life is a perpetual motion of them—the passage of the blood, the wasting and repairing of the lenses of the eye, the modification of the tissues of the brain by every ray of light and sound—processes which science reduces to simpler and more elementary forces. Like the elements of which we are composed, the action of these forces extends beyond us; it rusts iron and ripens corn. Far out on every side of us those elements are broadcast, driven by many forces; and birth and gesture and death and the springing of violets from the grave are but a few out of ten thousand resultant combinations.
That clear, perpetual outline of face and limb is but an image of ours, under which we group them—a design in a web, the actual threads of which pass out beyond it. This at least of flame-like our life has, that it is but the concurrence, renewed from moment to moment, of forces parting sooner or later on their ways.
Mar 17, Alyson rated it really liked it Shelves: i-went-to-school-once. Philosophiren, says Novalis, ist dephlegmatisiren vivificiren. The service of philosophy, of speculative culture, towards the human spirit is to rouse, to startle it into sharp and eager observation.
The renaissance : Studies in art and poetry , by Walter Pater
Every moment some form grows perfect in hand or face; some tone on the hills or the sea is choicer than the rest; some mood of passion or insight or intellectual excitement is irresistibly real and attractive for us,—for that moment only. Not the fruit of experience, but experience itself, is the en Philosophiren, says Novalis, ist dephlegmatisiren vivificiren.
Not the fruit of experience, but experience itself, is the end. A counted number of pulses only is given to us of a variegated, dramatic life. How may we see in them all that is to be seen in them by the finest senses? How shall we pass most swiftly from point to point, and be present always at the focus where the greatest number of vital forces unite in their purest energy?
Shelves: british , victorian , syllabus-material , decadence. This won't hold much appeal for those who haven't studied art or English at university level, but it is nonetheless quite interesting. It's technically a tribute to famous Renaissance artists, but I see it is more a manifesto of the aesthetic movement of the fin de siecle sorry I can't put the accent in. I particularly enjoyed Pater's description of the Mona Lisa it is arguably the work's most famous passage , and if I had my book handy I would copy it here.
Alternatively, I will relate the o This won't hold much appeal for those who haven't studied art or English at university level, but it is nonetheless quite interesting. Alternatively, I will relate the one line I do recall. It is a statement that, in my opinion, embodies the decadent ideals: 'Not the fruit of the experience, but the experience itself. Nov 19, C. Michael rated it it was ok. Pater presents some good insights but there's much overwrought writing and his overly effete manner made for some tedious reading.
Much of what is asserted must be taken on the authority of the writer alone; apparently he was convinced that if he expressed himself cleverly enough, then what he said must be true.
Related The Renaissance: Studies in Art and Poetry
Copyright 2019 - All Right Reserved