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Friday
Mar022018

The Aesthetic Movement

IMAGE 2 TEAPOT: Teapot (American) - Manufactured by Chelsea Keramic Art Works - 1879-83 - Ceramic - 7 x 9 in. (17.8 x 22.9 cm) - Metropolitan Museum of Art, New YorkRebelling against Victorian materiality and modern industrialism (which often produced banal and repetitive machine-made designs of consumer products, Aesthetic artists placed a premium on quality craftsmanship in the creation of all art. Some even revived pre-industrial techniques in the process.

Aesthetic artists developed the adage "art for art's sake," divorcing art from its traditional obligation to convey a moral or socio-political message. Instead, they focused on exploring color, form, and composition in the pursuit of beauty.

They also maintained that art should not be confined to painting, sculpture, and architecture, but should be a part of everyday life. To this end, Aestheticism embraced not only what were once known as the "high" arts, but also ceramics, metalwork, fashion, furniture-making, and interior design.

It was during this time frame that the influence of Japanese art was most strongly felt, as seen in the piece featured here. Both its shape and the relief decoration embody the prevalent “Japonisme” of the era.

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