Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(939 words)

1. Terminology

Aestheticism can be understood both systematically and historically. Systematically, the term refers to an artistic and stylistic intention that engages in an artistic promotion of the aesthetic for its own sake; it is extremely focused on form (to the point of formalism and mannerism) and critical of culture. Aestheticist art is not characterized by its reference to reality, as legitimized by the category of mimesis or the periods of realism and naturalism; it must stand firmly for…

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Laak, Lothar van, “Aestheticism”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 07 December 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_017130>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160321

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