Walter Horatio Pater
Horatio was born on 4 Aug. 1839 in Stepney, London and died at the age of 54 on 30 July 1894 in Oxford. He comes from the medical background; his father was a physician who moved to London around the 19th century to practise medicine among the poor. In 1853, Pater went to The King’s School, Canterbury, where he was enthralled to see the beauty of the Cathedral and remained with him throughout his life. His reading of John Ruskin’s Modern Painters, which inspired him or attracted towards the study of art. His early interested authors were Flaubert, Gautier, Baudelaire and Swinburne. In addition, he was also much influenced by the German authors. His interest in Hellenism, pre- Socratic and German philosophy, European art, and literature was encouraged by Benjamin Jowett, the classical scholar W.W. Capes and Mathew Arnold. He had to face harsh attack the conclusion to studies in the history of the Renaissance (1873). Today, he is known for his celebrated pagan art, and the love of art for its own sake. He devised the ultimate success in life To burn always with the hard gemlike flame, to maintain this ecstasy, is success in life. His radical critique of absolutism and explored admiration for Hellenic Homerotic discourse and culture.
As an aesthetic critic, he has philosophised the ways of the study of beauty. He was the first and foremost leader of English literary aestheticism. Pater’s critical approach outlined in the preface to The Renaissance and improved in his later writings. He argued for a subjective approach to life, ideas, art and just contrary of it, scorns for objective outlook upon anything. He favours moralistic criticism that we find generally in Mathew Arnold’s criticism. His critical method seen as a quest for the impressions, the quest for the sources of individual expression.
Studies in the History of Renaissance 1873
His tireless study and teaching at Oxford formulated to visit the continent; he went to Florence, Pisa and Ravenna of where he was much influenced by the art and literature. He could not prevent himself and started writing articles and criticism. On this line, an essay on metaphysics of Coleridge came out. His essays on Leonardo da Vinci (1869), Sandro Botticelli (1871) and Michelangelo (1871) printed in Fortnightly Review. These essays established a landmark in the history of aesthetic criticism. These last three essays came out under the title as Studies in the History of Renaissance 1873, however, renamed in the second and later editions The Renaissance: Studies in the Art and Poetry. In this collection, an essay on Leonardo and Patter’s daydream about Mona Lisa is much celebrated one. His essay on Botticelli, first in the English language, has revitalised the artistic spirit of the time. In addition, Giorgione, an essay in the third edition, contains much-celebrated quotation “All art constantly aspires towards the condition of music”. William Morris, the final paragraph of the essay served as the conclusion of the collection. The conclusion remained one of the influential and controversial parts of the book.
Marius the Epicurean: His Sensations and Ideas
It was first and last full-length fictional work, published in 1885. It is a historical and philosophical Novel. As historical, it takes us back to 161-177 AD, in the Rome of the Antonines. It tells the story of protagonist’s intellectual and philosophical development. The novelist tries to relate it with his own time. Pater traces the life of Marius throughout his different phase of life period- boyhood, education, ad young manhood. Marius, a serious young Roman with unwholesome religious idealism. Flavin, his friend, like many pater’s characters, dies young.
About the Prescribed Authors
Paraphrases of the poems