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September 25 , 2007

The Renaissance: Studies in Art and Poetry


Walter Pater (1839-1894) attained a B.A. degree in Classics from Queen's College, Oxford, followed soon after by a M.A. degree from Brasenose College, Oxford, where he was made a Fellow in 1865. That same year Pater toured Italy, where he discovered what would become a lifelong passion for masters of the Italian Renaissance like Leonardo da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli, Michelangelo, among many others. In 1877 he published "The Renaissance: Studies in Art and Poetry", which examines the French, Italian and German writers, painters and sculptors of the thirteenth to eighteen century. It is a collection of beautifully written essays on various artistic movements of the Renaissance, and concludes with Pater's urgent call to readers to experience life as fully as possible. For Pater, Victorian sensibilities suppressed true enjoyment in life. His "art for art's sake" philosophy found in this work became the manifesto of the Aesthetic Movement.

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