/es thet"euh siz'euhm/ or, esp. Brit., /ees-/, n.1. the acceptance of artistic beauty and taste as a fundamental standard, ethical and other standards being secondary.2. an exaggerated devotion to art, music, or poetry, with indifference to practical matters.3. a late Victorian movement in British and American art characterized by a dedicatedly eclectic search for beauty and by an interest in old English, Japanese, and classical art.Also, estheticism.[1855-60; AESTHETIC + -ISM]
* * *Late 19th-century European arts movement that centred on the doctrine that art exists for the sake of its beauty alone.It began in reaction to prevailing utilitarian social philosophies and to the perceived ugliness and philistinism of the industrial age. Its philosophical foundations were laid by Immanuel Kant, who proposed that aesthetic standards could be separated from morality, utility, or pleasure. James McNeill Whistler, Oscar Wilde, and Stéphane Mallarmé raised the movement's ideal of the cultivation of refined sensibility to perhaps its highest point. Aestheticism had affinities with French Symbolism and was a precursor of Art Nouveau.
* * *▪ art movementlate 19th-century European arts movement which centred on the doctrine that art exists for the sake of its beauty alone, and that it need serve no political, didactic, or other purpose.The movement began in reaction to prevailing utilitarian social philosophies and to what was perceived as the ugliness and philistinism of the industrial age. Its philosophical foundations were laid in the 18th century by Immanuel Kant, who postulated the autonomy of aesthetic standards, setting them apart from considerations of morality, utility, or pleasure. This idea was amplified by J.W. von Goethe, J.L. Tieck, and others in Germany and by Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Thomas Carlyle in England. It was popularized in France by Madame de Staël, Théophile Gautier, and the philosopher Victor Cousin, who coined the phrase l'art pour l'art (“art for art's sake”) in 1818.In England, the artists of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, from 1848, had sown the seeds of Aestheticism, and the work of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones, and Algernon Charles Swinburne exemplified it in expressing a yearning for ideal beauty through conscious medievalism. The attitudes of the movement were also represented in the writings of Oscar Wilde and Walter Pater and the illustrations of Aubrey Beardsley in the periodical The Yellow Book. The painter James McNeill Whistler (Whistler, James McNeill) raised the movement's ideal of the cultivation of refined sensibility to perhaps its highest point.Contemporary critics of Aestheticism included William Morris and John Ruskin and, in Russia, Leo Tolstoy, who questioned the value of art divorced from morality. Yet the movement focused attention on the formal aesthetics of art and contributed to the art criticism of Roger Fry and Bernard Berenson. Aestheticism shared certain affinities with the French Symbolist movement, fostered the Arts and Crafts Movement, and sponsored Art Nouveau.
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AEstheticism — [AE]s*thet i*cism, n. The doctrine of [ae]sthetics; [ae]sthetic principles; devotion to the beautiful in nature and art. Lowell. [1913 Webster] … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
aestheticism — (n.) 1855, from AESTHETIC (Cf. aesthetic) + ISM (Cf. ism) … Etymology dictionary
aestheticism — [es thet′i siz΄əm] n. 1. the doctrine that aesthetic principles underlie all human values 2. a) sensitivity to art and beauty b) the artificial cultivation of artistic sensitivity … English World dictionary
Aestheticism — This article is about aestheticism, a term with a root meaning of sensuous; Not to be confused with the religious practice of asceticism: an abstinence from the sensual. The Aesthetic Movement is a loosely defined movement in literature, fine art … Wikipedia
AESTHETICISM — Yuibi shugi or tanbi shugi (aestheticism) is a term used to describe the narrow aesthetic focus of late 19th century Western Romanticism (and later modernism) that found its way to Japan. Embodied in the phrase “art for art’s sake,”… … Japanese literature and theater
aestheticism — aesthetic (US also esthetic) ► ADJECTIVE 1) concerned with beauty or the appreciation of beauty. 2) of pleasing appearance. ► NOUN ▪ a set of principles underlying the work of a particular artist or artistic movement. DERIVATIVES aesthetically… … English terms dictionary
aestheticism — also estheticism noun Date: 1855 1. a doctrine that the principles of beauty are basic to other and especially moral principles 2. devotion to or emphasis on beauty or the cultivation of the arts … New Collegiate Dictionary
aestheticism — noun A doctrine which holds aesthetics or beauty as the highest ideal or most basic standard. See Also: aesthete, aesthetics … Wiktionary
aestheticism — Doctrine associated with late 19th century writers and artists, including Walter Pater, James McNeill Whistler, and especially Oscar Wilde. It holds that the appreciation of art and beauty is the highest aim of human life, and especially that the … Philosophy dictionary
aestheticism — doctrine that beauty is central to other moral principles Philosophical Isms … Phrontistery dictionary