The Aesthetic Movement

Aestheticism is a 19th-century artistic movement that, set out to free literature, music and art from the shackles of socio-political expectations to let them grow as individual entities. Prior to Aesthetics, the creation of art was expected to be done with purpose, be it moral, allegorical, or didactic. Any art that didn’t follow this ethical charter was considered vile and bound to corrupt minds. This movement unfolded in the 1860s in France and England with the help of radical artists. It snowballed by the end of the century, gaining the support of popular writers like Oscar Wilde. This movement revered ‘beauty’ as reason enough for the creation and appreciation of all art forms which changed the perception of worthy art forever. Followers of Aestheticism raved about the self-sufficiency of art and its independence from any utilitarian strings, making it one of human's finest creations. Art was seen in a new and divine light; it was spectacular and all it had to do was to be. This refreshing school of thought enabled it to crush out of its cage into l'art pour l'art, i.e. ‘Art for art’s sake' which also happens to be the crying motto of this revolutionary art movement.

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