The Renaissance: Studies in Art and Poetry

By Walter Pater | Go to book overview

PREFACE

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 a 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 a universal formula for it, but the formula which expresses most adequately this or that

-vii-

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The Renaissance: Studies in Art and Poetry
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Dedication v
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xvii
  • Two Early French Stories 1
  • Pico Della Mirandola 30
  • Sandro Botticelli 50
  • The Poetry of Michelangelo 73
  • Leonardo Da Vinci 98
  • The School of Giorgione 130
  • Winckelmann 177
  • Conclusion 233
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