Aesthetic Movement

Aestheticism or the ‘Aesthetic Movement’ is an art movement that was prominent in Europe during the 19th Century. Aestheticism emphasied appreciation of the beauty of art for what it is, becoming synonymous the statement ‘Art for Art’s sake’. Art related to the Aesthetic Movement deterred from the social and political narratives that were typically depicted in art work and instead focused on the pure beauty of the design and technique used to create an overall piece. The Aesthetic Movement was embraced in a range of artistic forms from painting and fine art to decorative arts and furniture design.

The image shown is a section of the painting 'Symphony in White, No.1 The White Girl' by James McNeill Whistler, an American working in Britain, who exemplified the genre.