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The Renaissance: studies in art and poetry   By: (1839-1894)

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Scanned and proofed by Alfred J. Drake (www.ajdrake.com)

THE RENAISSANCE: STUDIES IN ART AND POETRY WALTER HORATIO PATER

London: 1910. (The Library Edition.)

NOTES BY THE E TEXT EDITOR:

Notes: The 1910 Library Edition employs footnotes, a style inconvenient in an electronic edition. I have therefore placed an asterisk immediately after each of Pater's footnotes and a sign after my own notes, and have listed each chapter's notes at that chapter's end.

Pagination and Paragraphing: To avoid an unwieldy electronic copy, I have transferred original pagination to brackets. A bracketed numeral such as [22] indicates that the material immediately following the number marks the beginning of the relevant page. I have preserved paragraph structure except for first line indentation.

Hyphenation: I have not preserved original hyphenation since an e text does not require line end or page end hyphenation.

Greek typeface: For this full text edition, I have transliterated Pater's Greek quotations. If there is a need for the original Greek, it can be viewed at my site, http://www.ajdrake.com/etexts, a Victorianist archive that contains the complete works of Walter Pater and many other nineteenth century texts, mostly in first editions.

THE RENAISSANCE: STUDIES IN ART AND POETRY WALTER HORATIO PATER

CONTENTS

Preface: vii xv

Two Early French Stories: 1 29

Pico della Mirandola: 30 49

Sandro Botticelli: 50 62

Luca della Robbia: 63 72

The Poetry of Michelangelo: 73 97

Leonardo da Vinci: 98 129

The School of Giorgione: 130 154

Joachim du Bellay: 155 176

Winckelmann: 177 232

Conclusion: 233 end

DEDICATION

To C.L.S February 1873

PREFACE

[vii] Many attempts have been made by writers on art and poetry to define beauty in the abstract, to express it in the most general terms, to find some universal formula for it. The value of these attempts has most often been in the suggestive and penetrating things said by the way. Such discussions help us very little to enjoy what has been well done in art or poetry, to discriminate between what is more and what is less excellent in them, or to use words like beauty, excellence, art, poetry, with a more precise meaning than they would otherwise have. Beauty, like all other qualities presented to human experience, is relative; and the definition of it becomes unmeaning and useless in proportion to its abstractness. To define beauty, not in the most abstract but in the most concrete terms possible, to find not its universal formula, but the formula which expresses most adequately this or that [viii] special manifestation of it, is the aim of the true student of aesthetics.

"To see the object as in itself it really is," has been justly said to be the aim of all true criticism whatever, and in aesthetic criticism the first step towards seeing one's object as it really is, is to know one's own impression as it really is, to discriminate it, to realise it distinctly. The objects with which aesthetic criticism deals music, poetry, artistic and accomplished forms of human life are indeed receptacles of so many powers or forces: they possess, like the products of nature, so many virtues or qualities. What is this song or picture, this engaging personality presented in life or in a book, to me? What effect does it really produce on me? Does it give me pleasure? and if so, what sort or degree of pleasure? How is my nature modified by its presence, and under its influence? The answers to these questions are the original facts with which the aesthetic critic has to do; and, as in the study of light, of morals, of number, one must realise such primary data for one's self, or not at all. And he who experiences these impressions strongly, and drives directly at the discrimination and analysis of them, has no need to trouble himself with the abstract question what beauty is in itself, or what its exact relation to truth or [ix] experience metaphysical questions, as unprofitable as metaphysical questions elsewhere... Continue reading book >>




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