The Renaissance

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Cosimo, Inc., Nov 1, 2005 - Art - 199 pages
[I]n the streets of Milan... moved a people as fantastic, changeful, and dreamlike. To Leonardo least of all men could there be anything poisonous in the exotic flowers of sentiment which grew there. It was a life of brilliant sins and exquisite amusements...-from "Leonard Da Vinci"With his thoughtful sensibility and appreciation of the artistic experience, Walter Pater exerted a dramatic influence over the Aesthetics of the mid to late 19th century: a movement of creative intellectuals, from writer Oscar Wilder to painter James McNeill Whistler, who held that art should be sensual and beauty the highest ideal. Pater's "cult of beauty" also profoundly affected 20th-century arts, literary, and cultural criticism.Here, in a series of essays first reprinted in 1873 from the iconoclastic journal Fortnightly Review, Pater embraces and explores the works of Botticelli, Della Robbia, Michelangelo, Da Vinci, and others. This collection, sometimes entitled Studies in the History of the Renaissance, is criticism as beautiful as the art it considers.Also available from Cosimo Classics: Pater's Marius the Epicurean: His Sensations and Ideas.British essayist and critic WALTER HORATIO PATER (1839-94) was educated at Oxford University. He also wrote Imaginary Portraits (1887), Appreciations (1889), and the posthumously published Greek Studies (1895).
 

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Contents

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1
II
24
III
41
IV
52
V
60
VI
81
VII
107
VIII
128
IX
147
X
194
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Page xxvi - What is this song or picture, this engaging personality presented in life or in a book, to me? What effect does it really produce on me?

About the author (2005)

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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