Harlem renaissance essay conclusion
The most influential pages of The Renaissance come in its brief “Conclusion.” Only three pages long, this aesthetic manifesto—adapted from Pater’s 1868 review of William Morris’s Earthly Paradise—turns away from the explicit subject of Renaissance art to address the reader directly. What matters most in life, according to Pater? Not any of the usual Victorian middle-class values of Christian faith, moral rectitude, social status, business competition, financial gain, nor any kind of public life. Facing the stark fact of human mortality, Pater exhorts his readers to take pleasure in sense impressions and in the pursuit of knowledge, whether admiring an artwork or another person:
Precursors of the renaissance essays
Walter Pater (Fig. 1) is known as the chief theorist of the Aesthetic movement. His essays laid out the serious and subversive ideas underpinning an art movement whose rebellion was enacted through an embrace of beauty and strangeness. Art historians today are not in the business of proposing to us controversial new ways of living and thinking; yet that is what happened in 1873, when Pater published his collection titled Studies in the History of the Renaissance. He used the art-historical essay as a platform to describe indirectly a lifestyle freed from Victorian conventionalities, especially those surrounding the human body. While many authors before Pater had used art history to meditate more broadly on modern values—most influentially, the art critic John Ruskin, promoting the moral worth of Gothic architecture—Pater puts his own unique spin on the practice. Though Pater has often been assimilated into an apparently normative group of Victorian essay writers that includes Ruskin and Matthew Arnold, this piece will highlight some of his more rebellious tendencies, describing how he critiques and even ironizes the scholarly tradition to which he contributes. His double vision is at once serious and transgressive, using the canon of Renaissance art to offer his own idiosyncratic impressions and to implicitly defend the right of others to experience a similar freedom.
Born in Missouri, Langston Hughes (1902-1967) moved to New York City in 1921 to study at Columbia University because it was in Harlem. Hughes was introduced nationally in 1921, when his poem "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" was featured in Crisis magazine. Author of poems, plays, essays, and short stories, Hughes was one of the most prolific and influential writers in the Renaissance era and until his death in 1967.