Walter Pater, Writer and Critic
Walter Pater (1839-1894)
Writer and Critic
A graduate of the Queen's College, Walter
Pater was elected a Fellow of Brasenose in 1864. He retained his position until his death
thirty years later, although in the last ten years of his life he gave up his
duties as a tutor and lived for some years in London.
He led a
relatively quiet and uneventful life, but his influence has been extensive.
He is usually cited as a proponent of the
doctrine of 'art for art's sake', and his prose style is much admired. Much of his work was concerned with the art
and literature of the Renaissance. His Studies in the History of the Renaissance established his reputation as an
aesthete; he was an acknowledged influence on later members of the aesthetic
movement, including Oscar Wilde. His
most famous work is Marius the Epicurean,
about the spiritual and intellectual life of a young Roman in the second