Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Great God Pan

I read this short story on the gutenberg project that you might like by ARTHUR MACHEN
The Great God Pan

A very creepy little tale!

Machen was part of the aesthetic movement of the 1890's. The British aesthetic writers were deeply influenced by the Oxford don Walter Pater and his essays published in 1867–68, in which he stated that life had to be lived intensely, following an ideal of beauty. His Studies in the History of the Renaissance (1873) became a sacred text for art-centric young men of the Victorian era. Decadent writers used the slogan "Art for Art's Sake" (L'art pour l'art), coined by the philosopher Victor Cousin and promoted by Théophile Gautier in France, and asserted that there was no connection between art and morality. This is a discussion that has continued since the 1970's for me. Can an artist's work be taken as separate from the life he lives?

Also very inters ting is the aesthetic or artistic dress style. Dante Gabriel Rossetti and other members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood were conscious archaizers, emulating the work of the "old masters" and choosing romantic, medieval subjects. They dressed their models in long flowing gowns loosely inspired by styles of the Middle Ages. These styles were then adopted by the painters' wives and models for everyday dress. Dresses were loosely fitted and comparatively plain, often with long puffed sleeves; they were made from fabric in muted colors derived from natural dyes, and could be ornamented with embroidery in the art needlework style. Artistic dress was an extreme contrast to the tight corsets, hoop skirts and bustles, bright synthetic aniline dyes, and lavish ornamentation seen in the mainstream fashion of the period.
In the 1860s, artistic dress became popular in intellectual circles and among artists for its natural beauty; it also reinforced their social ideals of quality materials, respect for the work of the hands, and the purity of medieval design.
These dress designs remind me of Carl and Karin Larsson and the Swedish Design movement although they were more spare and the colors more muted.

What a nose on this girl but, the dress looks lovely...
Develop interest in life as you see it; in people, things, literature, music - the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.
Henry Miller (1891 - 1980)

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