Aesthetics is a branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of art and taste and with the creation or appreciation of beauty. In its more technical epistemological perspective, it is defined as the study of subjective and sensori-emotional values, or sometimes called judgments of sentiment and taste. Aesthetics studies how artists imagine and perform works of art, it studies how they feel about art—why they like some works and not others, how art can affect their moods and attitude toward life. The phrase was coined in English in the 18th century. More broadly, scholars in the field define aesthetics as "critical reflection on art and nature". In modern English, the term aesthetic can refer to a set of principles underlying the works of a particular art movement or theory: one speaks, for example, of the Cubist aesthetic; the word aesthetic is derived from the Greek αἰσθητικός, which in turn was derived from αἰσθάνομαι (aisthanomai, meaning "I perceive, sense" and related to αἴσθησις. Aesthetics in this central sense has been said to start with the series of articles on “The Pleasures of the Imagination” which the journalist Joseph Addison wrote in the early issues of the magazine The Spectator in 1712.
The term "aesthetics" was appropriated and coined with new meaning by the German philosopher Alexander Baumgarten in his dissertation Meditationes philosophicae de nonnullis ad poema pertinentibus in 1735. Aesthetics, a not tidy intellectual discipline, is a heterogeneous collection of problems that concern the arts but relate to nature. Even though his definition in the fragment Aesthetica is more referred to as the first definition of modern aesthetics. Aesthetics is for the artist; some separate aesthetics and philosophy of art, claiming that the former is the study of beauty while the latter is the study of works of art. However, most Aesthetics encompasses both questions around beauty as well as questions about art, it examines topics such as aesthetic objects, aesthetic experience, aesthetic judgments. For some, aesthetics is considered a synonym for the philosophy of art since Hegel, while others insist that there is a significant distinction between these related fields. In practice, aesthetic judgement refers to the sensory contemplation or appreciation of an object, while artistic judgement refers to the recognition, appreciation or criticism of art or an art work.
Philosophical aesthetics has not only to speak about art and to produce judgments about art works, but has to give a definition of what art is. Art is an autonomous entity for philosophy, because art deals with the senses and art is as such free of any moral or political purpose. Hence, there are two different conceptions of art in aesthetics: art as knowledge or art as action, but aesthetics is neither epistemology nor ethics. Aestheticians compare historical developments with theoretical approaches to the arts of many periods, they study the varieties of art in relation to their physical and culture environments. Aestheticians use psychology to understand how people see, imagine, think and act in relation to the materials and problems of art. Aesthetic psychology studies the creative process and the aesthetic experience. Aesthetics examines our affective domain response to an object or phenomenon Judgments of aesthetic value rely on our ability to discriminate at a sensory level. However, aesthetic judgments go beyond sensory discrimination.
For David Hume, delicacy of taste is not "the ability to detect all the ingredients in a composition", but our sensitivity "to pains as well as pleasures, which escape the rest of mankind." Thus, the sensory discrimination is linked to capacity for pleasure. For Immanuel Kant, "enjoyment" is the result when pleasure arises from sensation, but judging something to be "beautiful" has a third requirement: sensation must give rise to pleasure by engaging our capacities of reflective contemplation. Judgments of beauty are sensory and intellectual all at once. Kant observed of a man "If he says that canary wine is agreeable he is quite content if someone else corrects his terms and reminds him to say instead: It is agreeable to me," because "Everyone has his own taste"; the case of "beauty" is different from mere "agreeableness" because, "If he proclaims something to be beautiful he requires the same liking from others. Roger Scruton has argued similarly. Viewer interpretations of beauty may on occasion be observed to possess two concepts of value: aesthetics and taste.
Aesthetics is the philosophical notion of beauty. Taste is a result of an education process and awareness of elite cultural values learned through exposure to mass culture. Bourdieu examined how the elite in society define the aesthetic values like taste and how varying levels of exposure to these values can result in variations by class, cultural background, education. According to Kant, beauty is universal. In the opinion of Władysław Tatarkiewicz, there are
In European academic traditions, fine art is art developed for aesthetics or beauty, distinguishing it from applied art, which has to serve some practical function, such as pottery or most metalwork. The five main fine arts were painting, architecture and poetry, with performing arts including theatre and dance; the old master print and drawing were included as related forms to painting, just as prose forms of literature were to poetry. Today, the range of what would be considered fine arts includes additional modern forms, such as film, video production/editing and conceptual art. One definition of fine art is "a visual art considered to have been created for aesthetic and intellectual purposes and judged for its beauty and meaningfulness painting, drawing, watercolor and architecture." In that sense, there are conceptual differences between the applied arts. As conceived, as understood for much of the modern era, the perception of aesthetic qualities required a refined judgment referred to as having good taste, which differentiated fine art from popular art and entertainment.
The word "fine" does not so much denote the quality of the artwork in question, but the purity of the discipline according to traditional Western European canons. Except in the case of architecture, where a practical utility was accepted, this definition excluded the "useful" applied or decorative arts, the products of what were regarded as crafts. In contemporary practice these distinctions and restrictions have become meaningless, as the concept or intention of the artist is given primacy, regardless of the means through which this is expressed. According to some writers the concept of a distinct category of fine art is an invention of the early modern period in the West. Larry Shiner in his The Invention of Art: A Cultural History locates the invention in the 18th century: "There was a traditional “system of the arts” in the West before the eighteenth century. In that system, an artist or artisan was a skilled maker or practitioner, a work of art was the useful product of skilled work, the appreciation of the arts was integrally connected with their role in the rest of life.
“Art”, in other words, meant the same thing as the Greek word techne, or in English “skill”, a sense that has survived in phrases like “the art of war”, “the art of love”, “the art of medicine.” Similar ideas have been expressed by Paul Oskar Kristeller, Pierre Bourdieu, Terry Eagleton, though the point of invention is placed earlier, in the Italian Renaissance. The decline of the concept of "fine art" is dated by George Kubler and others to around 1880, when it "fell out of fashion" as, by about 1900, folk art came to be regarded as of equal significance. ""fine art" was driven out of use by about 1920 by the exponents of industrial design... who opposed a double standard of judgment for works of art and for useful objects". This was among theoreticians; the separation of arts and crafts that exists in Europe and the US is not shared by all other cultures. In Japanese aesthetics, the activities of everyday life are depicted by integrating not only art with craft but man-made with nature. Traditional Chinese art distinguished within Chinese painting between the landscape literati painting of scholar gentlemen and the artisans of the schools of court painting and sculpture.
A high status was given to many things that would be seen as craft objects in the West, in particular ceramics, jade carving and embroidery. Latin American art was dominated by European colonialism until the 20th-century, when indigenous art began to reassert itself inspired by the Constructivist Movement, which reunited arts with crafts based upon socialist principles. In Africa, Yoruba art has a political and spiritual function; as with the art of the Chinese, the art of the Yoruba is often composed of what would ordinarily be considered in the West to be craft production. Some of its most admired manifestations, such as sculpture and textiles, fall in this category. Drawing is one of the major forms of the visual arts. Common instruments include: graphite pencils and ink, inked brushes, wax color pencils, charcoals, pastels, stylus, or various metals like silverpoint. There are a number including cartooning and creating comics. There remains debate whether the following is considered a part of “drawing” as “fine art”: "doodling", drawing in the fog a shower and leaving an imprint on the bathroom mirror, or the surrealist method of "entopic graphomania", in which dots are made at the sites of impurities in a blank sheet of paper, the lines are made between the dots.
Mosaics are images formed with small pieces of glass, called tesserae. They can be functional. An artist who designs and makes mosaics is called a mosaicist. Printmaking is the process of making artworks by printing on paper. Except in the case of monotyping, the process is capable of producing multiples of the same piece, called a print; each print is considered an original, as opposed to a copy. The reasoning behind this is that the print is not a reproduction of another work of art in a different medium — for instance, a painting — but rather an image designed from inception as a print. An individual print is referred to as an impression. Prints ar
A. E. Housman
Alfred Edward Housman known as A. E. Housman, was an English classical scholar and poet, best known to the general public for his cycle of poems A Shropshire Lad. Lyrical and epigrammatic in form, the poems wistfully evoke the dooms and disappointments of youth in the English countryside, their beauty and distinctive imagery appealed to Edwardian taste, to many early 20th-century English composers both before and after the First World War. Through their song-settings, the poems became associated with that era, with Shropshire itself. Housman was one of the foremost classicists of his age and has been ranked as one of the greatest scholars who lived, he established his reputation publishing as a private scholar and, on the strength and quality of his work, was appointed Professor of Latin at University College London and at the University of Cambridge. His editions of Juvenal and Lucan are still considered authoritative; the eldest of seven children, Housman was born at Valley House in Fockbury, a hamlet on the outskirts of Bromsgrove in Worcestershire, to Sarah Jane and Edward Housman, was baptised on 24 April 1859 at Christ Church, in Catshill.
His mother died on his twelfth birthday, his father, a country solicitor, remarried, to an elder cousin, Lucy, in 1873. Two of his siblings became sister Clemence Housman and brother Laurence Housman. Housman was educated at King Edward's School in Birmingham and Bromsgrove School, where he revealed his academic promise and won prizes for his poems. In 1877 he won an open scholarship to St John's College and went there to study classics. Although introverted by nature, Housman formed strong friendships with two roommates, Moses John Jackson and A. W. Pollard. Though Housman obtained a first in classical Moderations in 1879, his dedication to textual analysis of Propertius, led him to neglect the ancient history and philosophy that formed part of the Greats curriculum. Accordingly, he failed his Finals and had to return humiliated in Michaelmas term to resit the exam and at least gain a lower-level pass degree. Though some attribute Housman's unexpected performance in his exams directly to his unrequited feelings for Jackson, most biographers adduce more obvious causes.
Housman was indifferent to philosophy and overconfident in his exceptional gifts, he spent too much time with his friends. He may have been distracted by news of his father's desperate illness. After Oxford, Jackson went to work as a clerk in the Patent Office in London and arranged a job there for Housman too; the two shared a flat with Jackson's brother Adalbert until 1885, when Housman moved to lodgings of his own after Jackson responded to a declaration of love by telling Housman that he could not reciprocate his feelings. Two years Jackson moved to India, placing more distance between himself and Housman; when he returned to England in 1889, to marry, Housman was not invited to the wedding and knew nothing about it until the couple had left the country. Adalbert Jackson died in 1892 and Housman commemorated him in a poem published as "XLII – A. J. J." of More Poems. Meanwhile, Housman pursued his classical studies independently, published scholarly articles on such authors as Horace, Ovid, Aeschylus and Sophocles.
He acquired such a high reputation that in 1892 he was offered and accepted the professorship of Latin at University College London. When, during his tenure, an immensely rare Coverdale Bible of 1535 was discovered in the UCL library and presented to the Library Committee, Housman remarked that it would be better to sell it to "buy some useful books with the proceeds". Although Housman's early work and his responsibilities as a professor included both Latin and Greek, he began to specialise in Latin poetry; when asked why he had stopped writing about Greek verse, he responded, "I found that I could not attain to excellence in both." In 1911 he took the Kennedy Professorship of Latin at Trinity College, where he remained for the rest of his life. G. P. Goold, Classics Professor at University College, wrote of Housman's accomplishments: "The legacy of Housman's scholarship is a thing of permanent value. Between 1903 and 1930 Housman published his critical edition of Manilius's Astronomicon in five volumes.
He edited works by Juvenal and Lucan. Many colleagues were unnerved by his scathing attacks on those he thought guilty of shoddy scholarship. In his paper "The Application of Thought to Textual Criticism" Housman wrote: "A textual critic engaged upon his business is not at all like Newton investigating the motion of the planets: he is much more like a dog hunting for fleas." He declared many of his contemporary scholars to be stupid, vain, or all three, saying: "Knowledge is good, method is good, but one thing beyond all others is necessary. His younger colleague A. S. F. Gow quoted examples of these attacks, noting that they "were savage in the extreme". Gow related how Housman intimidated his students, sometimes reducing the women to tears. According to Gow, Housman (when teaching at University College London where
Matthew Arnold was an English poet and cultural critic who worked as an inspector of schools. He was the son of Thomas Arnold, the famed headmaster of Rugby School, brother to both Tom Arnold, literary professor, William Delafield Arnold and colonial administrator. Matthew Arnold has been characterised as a sage writer, a type of writer who chastises and instructs the reader on contemporary social issues; the Reverend John Keble stood as Godfather to Matthew. Thomas Arnold admired Keble's Christian Year, first published in 1827, but the elder Arnold became disappointed with Keble when he became a leader of the Oxford or Tractarian Movement, whose leaders had a plan for the renewal of the Church of England that Thomas Arnold regarded as too conservative and traditionalist. In 1828, Arnold's father was appointed Headmaster of Rugby School and his young family took up residence, that year, in the Headmaster's house. In 1831, Arnold was tutored by Rev. John Buckland in the small village of Laleham.
In 1834, the Arnolds occupied a holiday home, Fox How, in the Lake District. William Wordsworth was a close friend. In 1836, Arnold was sent to Winchester College, but in 1837 he returned to Rugby School where he was enrolled in the fifth form, he thus came under the direct tutelage of his father. He wrote verse for the manuscript Fox How Magazine co-produced with his brother Tom for the family's enjoyment from 1838 to 1843. During his years there, he won school prizes for English essay writing, Latin and English poetry, his prize poem, "Alaric at Rome," was printed at Rugby. In 1841, he won an open scholarship to Oxford. During his residence at Oxford, his friendship became stronger with Arthur Hugh Clough, another Rugby old boy, one of his father's favourites. Arnold did not join the Oxford Movement, his father died of heart disease in 1842, Fox How became his family's permanent residence. Arnold's poem Cromwell won the 1843 Newdigate prize, he graduated in the following year with a 2nd class honours degree in Literae Humaniores.
In 1845, after a short interlude of teaching at Rugby, he was elected Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford. In 1847, he became Private Secretary to Lord President of the Council. In 1849, he published his first book of The Strayed Reveller. In 1850 Wordsworth died. Wishing to marry, but unable to support a family on the wages of a private secretary, Arnold sought the position of, was appointed, in April 1851, one of Her Majesty's Inspectors of Schools. Two months he married Frances Lucy, daughter of Sir William Wightman, Justice of the Queen's Bench; the Arnolds had six children: Thomas. Arnold described his duties as a school inspector as "drudgery," although "at other times he acknowledged the benefit of regular work." The inspectorship required him, at least at first, to travel and across much of England. "Initially, Arnold was responsible for inspecting Nonconformist schools across a broad swath of central England. He spent many dreary hours during the 1850s in railway waiting-rooms and small-town hotels, longer hours still in listening to children reciting their lessons and parents reciting their grievances.
But that meant that he, among the first generation of the railway age, travelled across more of England than any man of letters had done. Although his duties were confined to a smaller area, Arnold knew the society of provincial England better than most of the metropolitan authors and politicians of the day." In 1852, Arnold published his second volume of poems, Empedocles on Etna, Other Poems. In 1853, he published Poems: A New Edition, a selection from the two earlier volumes famously excluding Empedocles on Etna, but adding new poems and Rustum and The Scholar Gipsy. In 1854, Poems: Second Series appeared. Arnold was elected Professor of Poetry at Oxford in 1857, he was the first in this position to deliver his lectures in English rather than in Latin, he was re-elected in 1862. On Translating Homer and the initial thoughts that Arnold would transform into Culture and Anarchy were among the fruits of the Oxford lectures. In 1859, he conducted the first of three trips to the continent at the behest of parliament to study European educational practices.
He self-published The Popular Education of France, the introduction to, published under the title Democracy. In 1865, Arnold published Essays in Criticism: First Series. Essays in Criticism: Second Series would not appear until November 1888, shortly after his untimely death. In 1866, he published Thyrsis, his elegy to Clough who had died in 1861. Culture and Anarchy, Arnold's major work in social criticism was published in 1869. Literature and Dogma, Arnold's major work in religious criticism appeared in 1873. In 1883 and 1884, Arnold toured the United States and Canada delivering lectures on education and Ralph Waldo Emerson, he was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1883. In 1886, he retired from school
Patience. The opera is a satire on the aesthetic movement of the 1870s and'80s in England and, more broadly, on fads, vanity and pretentiousness. First performed at the Opera Comique, London, on 23 April 1881, Patience moved to the 1,292-seat Savoy Theatre on 10 October 1881, where it was the first theatrical production in the world to be lit by electric light. Henceforth, the Gilbert and Sullivan comic operas would be known as the Savoy Operas, both fans and performers of Gilbert and Sullivan would come to be known as "Savoyards." Patience was the sixth operatic collaboration of fourteen between Sullivan. It ran for a total of 578 performances, seven more than the authors' earlier work, H. M. S. Pinafore, the second longest run of any work of musical theatre up to that time, after the operetta Les Cloches de Corneville; the opera is a satire on the aesthetic movement of the 1870s and'80s in England, part of the 19th-century European movement that emphasised aesthetic values over moral or social themes in literature, fine art, the decorative arts, interior design.
Called "Art for Art's Sake", the movement valued its ideals of beauty above any pragmatic concerns. Although the output of poets and designers was prolific, some argued that the movement's art and fashion was empty and self-indulgent; that the movement was so popular and so easy to ridicule as a meaningless fad helped make Patience a big hit. The same factors made a hit out of The Colonel, a play by F. C. Burnand based on the satiric cartoons of George du Maurier in Punch magazine; the Colonel beat Patience to the stage by several weeks. According to Burnand's 1904 memoir, Sullivan's friend the composer Frederic Clay leaked to Burnand the information that Gilbert and Sullivan were working on an "æsthetic subject", so Burnand raced to produce The Colonel before Patience opened. Modern productions of Patience have sometimes updated the setting of the opera to an analogous era such as the hippie 1960s, making a flower-child poet the rival of a beat poet; the two poets in the opera are given to reciting their own verses aloud, principally to the admiring chorus of rapturous maidens.
The style of poetry Bunthorne declaims contrasts with Grosvenor's. The former's, emphatic and obscure, bears a marked resemblance to Swinburne's poetry in its structure and heavy use of alliteration; the latter's "idyllic" poetry and pastoral, echoes elements of Coventry Patmore and William Morris. Gilbert scholar Andrew Crowther comments, "Bunthorne was the creature of Gilbert's brain, not just a caricature of particular Aesthetes, but an original character in his own right." The makeup and costume adopted by the first Bunthorne, George Grossmith, used Swinburne's velvet jacket, the painter James McNeill Whistler's hairstyle and monocle, knee-breeches like those worn by Oscar Wilde and others. According to Gilbert's biographer Edith Browne, the title character, was made up and costumed to resemble the subject of a Luke Fildes painting. Patience was not the first satire of the aesthetic movement played by Richard D'Oyly Carte's company at the Opera Comique. Grossmith himself had written a sketch in 1876 called Cups and Saucers, revived as a companion piece to H.
M. S. Pinafore in 1878, a satire of the blue pottery craze. A popular misconception holds that the central character of Bunthorne, a "Fleshly Poet," was intended to satirise Oscar Wilde, but this identification is retrospective. According to some authorities, Bunthorne is inspired by the poets Algernon Charles Swinburne and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who were more famous than Wilde in early 1881 before Wilde published his first volume of poetry. Rossetti had been attacked for immorality by Robert Buchanan in an article called "The Fleshly School of Poetry", published in The Contemporary Review for October 1871, a decade before Patience. Nonetheless, Wilde's biographer Richard Ellmann suggests that Wilde is a partial model for both Bunthorne and his rival Grosvenor. Carte, the producer of Patience, was Wilde's booking manager in 1881 as the poet's popularity took off. In 1882, after the New York production of Patience opened, Gilbert and Carte sent Wilde on a US lecture tour, with his green carnation and knee-breeches, to explain the English aesthetic movement, intending to help popularise the show's American touring productions.
Although a satire of the aesthetic movement is dated today and hero-worship are evergreen, "Gilbert’s pen was sharper than when he invented Reginald Bunthorne". Gilbert conceived Patience as a tale of rivalry between two curates and of the doting ladies who attended upon them; the plot and some of the dialogue were lifted straight out of Gilbert's Bab Ballad "The Rival Curates." While writing the libretto, Gilbert took note of the criticism he had received for his mild satire of a clergyman in The Sorcerer, looked about for an alternative pair of rivals. Some remnants of the Bab Ballad version do survive in the final text of Patience. Lady Jane advises Bunthorne to tell Grosvenor: "Your style is much too sanctified – your cut is too canonical!" Grosvenor agrees to change his lifestyle by saying, "I do it on compulsion!" – the words used by the Reverend Hopley Porter in the Bab Ballad. Gilbert's selection of aesthetic poet rivals proved to be a fertile subject for topsy-turvy treatment, he both mocks and joins in Buchanan's criticism of what the latter calls the po
Aubrey Vincent Beardsley was an English illustrator and author. His drawings in black ink, influenced by the style of Japanese woodcuts, emphasized the grotesque, the decadent, the erotic, he was a leading figure in the Aesthetic movement which included Oscar Wilde and James A. McNeill Whistler. Beardsley's contribution to the development of the Art Nouveau and poster styles was significant, despite the brevity of his career before his early death from tuberculosis. Beardsley was born in Brighton, England, on 21 August 1872, christened on 24 October 1872, his father, Vincent Paul Beardsley, was the son of a tradesman. Vincent's wife, Ellen Agnus Pitt, was the daughter of Surgeon-Major William Pitt of the Indian Army; the Pitts were a well-established and respected family in Brighton, Beardsley's mother married a man of lesser social status than might have been expected. Soon after their wedding, Vincent was obliged to sell some of his property in order to settle a claim for his "breach of promise" from another woman who claimed that he had promised to marry her.
At the time of his birth, Beardsley's family, which included his sister Mabel, one year older, were living in Ellen's familial home at 12 Buckingham Road. The number of the house in Buckingham Road was 12, but the numbers were changed years ago, it is now 31. In 1883 his family settled in London, in the following year he appeared in public as an "infant musical phenomenon", playing at several concerts with his sister. In January 1885 he began to attend Brighton and Sussex Grammar School, where he would spend the next four years, his first poems and cartoons appeared in print in Past and Present, the school's magazine. In 1888 he obtained a post in an architect's office, afterwards one in the Guardian Life and Fire Insurance Company. In 1891, under the advice of Sir Edward Burne-Jones and Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, he took up art as a profession. In 1892 he attended the classes at the Westminster School of Art under Professor Fred Brown. In 1892, Beardsley travelled to Paris, where he discovered the poster art of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, the Parisian fashion for Japanese prints, both of which would be major influences on his own style.
Beardsley's first commission was Le Morte d'Arthur by Thomas Malory, which he illustrated for the publishing house J. M. Dent and Company, his six years of major creative output can be divided into several periods, identified by the form of his signature. In the early period his work is unsigned. During 1891 and 1892 he progressed to using his initials, A. V. B. In mid-1892, the period of Le Morte d'Arthur and The Bon Mots he used a Japanese-influenced mark which became progressively more graceful, sometimes accompanied by A. B. in block capitals. He co-founded The Yellow Book with American writer Henry Harland, for the first four editions he served as Art Editor and produced the cover designs and many illustrations for the magazine, he was closely aligned with Aestheticism, the British counterpart of Decadence and Symbolism. Most of his images are done in ink and feature large dark areas contrasted with large blank ones, areas of fine detail contrasted with areas with none at all. Beardsley was the most controversial artist of the Art Nouveau era, renowned for his dark and perverse images and grotesque erotica, which were the main themes of his work.
His illustrations were in white, against a white background. Some of his drawings, inspired by Japanese shunga artwork, featured enormous genitalia, his most famous erotic illustrations concerned themes of history and mythology. Other major illustration projects included an 1896 edition of The Rape of the Lock by Alexander Pope, he produced extensive illustrations for books and magazines and worked for magazines such as The Studio and The Savoy, of which he was a co-founder. As a co-founder of The Savoy, Beardsley was able to pursue his writing as well as illustration, a number of his writings, including Under the Hill and “The Ballad of a Barber” appeared in the magazine. Beardsley was a caricaturist and did some political cartoons, mirroring Wilde's irreverent wit in art. Beardsley's work reflected the decadence of his era and his influence was enormous visible in the work of the French Symbolists, the Poster art Movement of the 1890s and the work of many later-period Art Nouveau artists such as Pape and Clarke.
Some alleged works of Beardsley's were published in a book titled Fifty Drawings by Aubrey Beardsley, Selected From the Collection of Mr. H. S. Nicols; these were discovered to be forgeries, distinguishable by their pornographic erotic elements, rather than Beardsley's somewhat more subtle use of sexuality. Beardsley's work continued to cause controversy in Britain long after his death. During an exhibition of Beardsley's prints held at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in 1966, a private gallery in London was raided by the police for exhibiting copies of the same prints on display at the museum, the owner charged under obscenity laws. Beardsley was a public as well as private eccentric, he said, "I have one aim—the grotesque. If I am not grotesque I am nothing." Wilde said he had "a face like a silver hatchet, grass green hair." Beardsley was meticulous about his attire: dove-grey suits, ties, yellow
Sir Edward Montague Compton Mackenzie, OBE was an English-born Scottish writer of fiction, histories and a memoir, as well as a cultural commentator and lifelong Scottish nationalist. He was one of the co-founders in 1928 of the Scottish National Party along with Hugh MacDiarmid, RB Cunninghame Graham and John MacCormick, he was knighted in 1952. Edward Montague Compton Mackenzie was born in West Hartlepool, County Durham, into a theatrical family of Mackenzies, many of whose members used Compton as their stage surname, starting with his grandfather Henry Compton, a well-known Shakespearean actor of the Victorian era, his father, Edward Compton, mother, Virginia Bateman, were actors and theatre company managers. He was educated at St Paul's School and Magdalen College, where he graduated with a degree in modern history. Sir Compton Mackenzie is best known for two comic novels set in Scotland: Whisky Galore set in the Hebrides, The Monarch of the Glen set in the Scottish Highlands, they were the sources of a television series respectively.
He published a hundred books on different subjects, including ten volumes of autobiography: My Life and Times. He wrote history, literary criticism, apologia, children's stories, poetry and so on. Of his fiction, The Four Winds of Love is sometimes considered his magnum opus, he was admired by F. Scott Fitzgerald, whose first book, This Side of Paradise, was written under the literary influence of Compton. Sinister Street, his lengthy 1913–14 bildungsroman, influenced such young men as George Orwell and Cyril Connolly, who both read it as schoolboys. Max Beerbohm praised Mackenzie's writing for emotional reality. Frank Swinnerton, a literary critic, comments on Mackenzie's "detail and wealth of reference". John Betjeman said of it, "This has always seemed to me one of the best novels of the best period in English novel writing." Henry James thought it to be the most remarkable book written by a young author in his lifetime. After his conversion to Roman Catholicism in 1914, Mackenzie explored religious themes in a trilogy of novels, The Altar Steps, The Parson's Progress and The Heavenly Ladder.
Following his time on Capri, socialising with the gay exiles there, he treated the homosexuality of a politician sensitively in Thin Ice. He was the literary critic for the London-based national newspaper Daily Mail. A novel which ranks with Brave New World and 1984 as outstanding political satire but with more humour is The Lunatic Republic. For the version of English spoken by the inhabitants of Lunamania on the far side of the moon, Mackenzie invented over 150 new words. Mackenzie worked as political activist and broadcaster, he served with British Intelligence in the Eastern Mediterranean during the First World War publishing four books on his experiences. According to these books, he was commissioned in the Royal Marines, his ill-health making front-line service impractical, he was assigned counter-espionage work during the Gallipoli campaign, in 1916 built up a considerable counter-intelligence network in Athens, Greece being neutral. While his secret service work seems to have been valued by his superiors, including Sir Mansfield Smith-Cumming, his passionate political views his support for the Venizelists, made him a controversial figure and he was expelled from Athens following the Noemvriana.
In 1917, he founded the Aegean Intelligence Service, enjoyed considerable autonomy for some months as its director. He was offered the Presidency of the Republic of Cerigo, independent while Greece was split between Royalists and Venizelists, but declined the office, he was recalled in September 1917. Smith-Cumming considered appointing him as his deputy, but withdrew the suggestion after opposition from within his own service, Mackenzie played no further active role in the war. In 1919, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, was honoured with the French Legion of Honour, the Serbian Order of the White Eagle, the Greek Order of the Redeemer. After the publication of his Greek Memories in 1932, he was prosecuted the following year at the Old Bailey under the Official Secrets Act for quoting from secret documents, his account of the trial, vividly described, is in Octave Seven of his autobiography: the result was a fine of £100 and costs of £100. His own costs were over £1,000.
Mackenzie states that a plea-bargain had been reached with the judge prior to the trial: in exchange for his pleading guilty, he would be fined £500 with £500 costs. However Sir Thomas Inskip attorney general who prosecuted the case, succeeded in annoying the trial judge to such an extent that he reduced the penalties to a token amount. So, the costs of his defence and the withdrawal from sale of Greek Memories left Mackenzie out of pocket and an attempt was made to ask the authorities which passages in the book they objected to so it could be re-issued with the offending material removed; this approach was rebuffed. In Octave Eight, covering the years 1939–45, Mackenzie recounts that the matter was raised in Parliament and a new version of Greek Memories was published in 1939. However, in spite of the withdrawal of the 1st edition a copy had been deposited at the British Museum (which contained what i