Then, in 1867, Pater asked: how can we determine the morality of a style or the value of an aesthetic object unless we first become aware of our own impressions and the sensations they evoke in us?
“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.” For Pater, the critic is someone who educates his sensibilities by bathing them in the subtleties of beauty, and then, by analyzing his own reactions, transforms himself into a sentient instrument for the appreciation of art.
In 1869 Pater moved to north Oxford, living with his two sisters, and began to dress as a dandy. Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates.
For the first time he published articles under his own name in the Fortnightly Review.
If you put only one 150 year old book of art essays on your reading list, this is the one I would recommend.
It revolutionized British art criticism, inspired—and provided a philosophical basis for--the l'art pour l'art movement, and, most important (for me at least), it expressed a new sensibility in innovative and beautiful prose--lambent, melodious, sinuous, languid and yet capable of intellectual subtlety and moral force—prose which would influence English letters for decades to come.
His visitors and correspondents included many who would help form the taste of the coming age: Arthur Symons, Lionel Johnson, Violet Paget (“Vernon Lee”), and Gerard Manley Hopkins, to mention a few.
Oscar Wilde in particular revered The Renaissance, and in his last year at college often took walks with Pater to discuss his aesthetics, which later became the basis of Wilde's own.
PATER, WALTER (1839–1894), English writer, critic, and aesthete.
In June 1858 Walter Horatio Pater matriculated at Queen's College, University of Oxford, where he read classics.