The House Beautiful: Oscar Wilde and the Aesthetic Interior

Overview

Published in the centenary year of Oscar Wilde's death, The House Beautiful celebrates Wilde's association with the Aesthetic Movement, which flourished in Britain and America in the late nineteenth century and which Wilde came to personify." "Examining the origins and development of the Aesthetic Movement and its influence on the decorative arts, Charlotte Gere traces the people with whom Wilde associated, the artists, architects and designers he admired, and the houses and interiors he was influenced by. His ...
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Overview

Published in the centenary year of Oscar Wilde's death, The House Beautiful celebrates Wilde's association with the Aesthetic Movement, which flourished in Britain and America in the late nineteenth century and which Wilde came to personify." "Examining the origins and development of the Aesthetic Movement and its influence on the decorative arts, Charlotte Gere traces the people with whom Wilde associated, the artists, architects and designers he admired, and the houses and interiors he was influenced by. His theories on art and interior decoration, which drew heavily on John Ruskin, Walter Pater and William Morris, were disseminated not only in the drawing-rooms of the socially elite but also through his lecture tours in America and the United kingdom.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This useful and important study centers on the taste and influence of Oscar Wilde in the dissemination of the Aesthetic style in England and America, with Wilde's Chelsea house, designed by Edward Godwin, serving as the focus. The authors begin with a description of Wilde's life; give a useful account of the origins of the Aesthetic Movement, the influence of Morris, and the importance of the styles that came from Japan; describe the artistic circles in Chelsea and Kensington; and conclude with a fairly lengthy description of the Aesthetic interior, including a definition of "Aesthetic" as opposed to "artistic." Throughout, the volume is filled with fascinating contemporary photographs, decorative schemes, and paintings--many of them hitherto unpublished. This valuable contribution on an important stylistic movement belongs in larger public and academic decorative art collections.--Martin Chasin, Adult Inst., Bridgeport, CT Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780853318187
  • Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 7/28/2000
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 9.85 (w) x 11.76 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 7
1 The Education of an Aesthete 11
Wilde's Early Life 11
Wilde at Oxford 13
The Grosvenor Gallery 20
Wilde and London Society 24
2 The Origins of the Aesthetic Movement 35
Design Reform 35
The Influence of Morris 40
The Discovery of Japan 43
3 Artistic Circles 55
Palaces of Art in Kensington 55
Bohemian Chelsea 63
4 The Art of Decoration 77
Manuals of Instruction 77
Wilde's Lecture Tours 88
5 Wilde's 'House Beautiful' 97
6 The Aesthetic Interior 109
Defining the style: 'Artistic' versus 'Aesthetic' 109
The middle-class house and household 114
Walls, ceilings and woodwork 115
Floors 121
Chimney pieces 123
Furniture 124
Textiles 128
Lighting 130
Ornaments and pictures 131
Postscript 136
Bibliography 138
Endnotes 140
Picture Credits 142
Index 143
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