The Renaissance: Studies in Art and Poetry : the 1893 Text

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University of California Press, 1980 - Art - 489 pages
Oscar Wilde called this collection of essays the "holy writ of beauty." Published to great acclaim in 1837, it examines the work of Renaissance artists such as Winckelmann and the then neglected Botticelli, and includes a celebrated discussion of the Mona Lisa in a study of Da Vinci. Thebook strongly influenced art students and aesthetes of the day and is still valuable for the insights it offers and the beauty of the writing.
 

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Contents

Two Early French Stories
1
Pico della Mirandola
23
Sandro Botticelli
39
The Poetry of Michelangelo
57
Leonardo da Vinci
77
The School of Giorgione
102
Joachim du Bellay
123
Winckelmann
141
Conclusion
186
A Pater Chronology
203
Critical and Explanatory Notes
277
Original Texts of Passages
465
Index
483
Copyright

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About the author (1980)

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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