Shift from Victorianism to Modernism. • The closing decade of the Victorian age is frequently referred to as the Fin de Siécle – French term meaning “the end of the age.”
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Victorianism to Modernism
• The closing decade of the Victorian age is frequently referred to as the Fin de Siécle– French term meaning “the end of the age.”
•This term refers to the last decades of the nineteenth century, when England transitioned from the Victorian age into the twentieth century and the age of modernism.
•Victorians realized that there was a sharp disconnect between the conservative rules of Victorian culture and the new world marked by Post-Darwinism, science, and social injustice.
•As a result, the closing decades of the nineteenth century saw the creation of new artistic styles, modern attitudes, and shifting gender notions
•Thus, the artistic and literary movements known as Aestheticism and Decadence were born.
•As a reaction to the conservatism and restrictive moral and social codes of the Victorian Age, the Aesthetic and Decadent movements championed artistic excess and rejected morality as a way to measure the value of art.
•The Aesthetes considered art a form of escapism and a means of obtaining unlimited pleasure.
•Writers and artists of the Aesthetic movement believed that art should not be judged on moral grounds but instead, should be valued for its beauty, sophistication, refinement, as well as the pleasure derived from its design and composition.
•Oscar Wilde emphasizes the use of the Aesthetic ideal to elevate art over life, to allow art to stand independently and be judged for its unique beauty rather than its function as a tool for moral education.