Pater, Walter - The Renaissance: Studies in Art and Poetry - ( Item 121982 )
Published in London by Folio Society. 2013. First Thus. Fine Hardback. No inscriptions or bookplates. Fine slipcase. Bound in buckram. Set in Bembo with Golden Cockerel Initials and Ornaments display. 200 pages. Frontispiece and 16 pages of colour plates. Book size: 9½" x 6¼". Introduced by Michael Prodger. This seminal book was an influence on Oscar Wilde and other aesthetes. Introduced by Michael Prodger, with paintings by Botticelli and Michelangelo. Unlike the other famed critics of the Victorian era, Walter Pater espoused a new, subjective way of writing about art that focused on the ‘sensations’ it evoked in the viewer. For him, the art of the Renaissance made the most direct appeal to the senses. On publication in 1873, The Renaissance provoked outrage; Pater’s so-called hedonism was considered an affront to Victorian morals. However, it became a touchstone for the aesthetes of the fin-de-siècle, including Oscar Wilde. One of Pater's most memorable phrases was adapted as their manifesto: 'To burn always with this hard, gem-like flame, to maintain this ecstasy, is success in life.' This edition features 16 pages of colour plates including paintings by Botticelli, whom Pater first brought to the attention of the British public, as well as works by Michelangelo, Verrocchio, Titian and Giorgione. In his introduction, art critic Michael Prodger describes the particular nature of this work, 'of equal potency and poetry'. The binding design has been adapted by artist Frances Button from a Victorian interpretation of a 16th-century textile design.
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