late 19th-century Aestheticism Aestheticism late 19th-century European arts movement which centred on the doctrine that art exists for the sake of its beauty alone, and that it need serve no political, didactic, or other purpose. Aestheticism from Europe, history of To those who dedicated their lives to Symbolist literature and criticism the name of aesthetes is often given, for it was at this time, from 1870 to the end of the century, that questions of aesthetics became the intense concern of artists, critics, and a portion of the public. The phrase "art for art's sake,' which the Aestheticism from art, philosophy of Diametrically opposed to the moralistic view is aestheticism, the view that, instead of art (and everything else) being the handmaiden of morality, morality (and everything else) should be the handmaiden of art. The proponents of this view hold that the experience of art is the most intense and pervasive experience available in human life and autotelism the belief that a work of art, especially a work of literature, is an end in itself or provides its own justification and does not exist to serve a moral or didactic purpose. It was adopted by proponents of New Criticism in the 1920's and is similar to the "art for art's sake' doctrine of the Aestheticism movement of the late 19th art for art's sake a slogan translated from the French l'art pour l'art, which was coined in the early 19th century by the French philosopher Victor Cousin.
The phrase expresses the belief held by many writers and artists, especially those associated with Aestheticism, that art needs no justification, that it need serve no political, didactic, or.