Aestheticism at the V&A

'Pavonia', Frederic Leighton, 1858-9. Private collection © Christie's

The Victoria and Albert Museum’s major new exhibition on the Aesthetic Movement has just opened. ‘The Cult of Beauty: The Aesthetic Movement 1860-1900’ will run until 17 July. As well as bringing together paintings by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones, James Whistler, and Frederic Leighton, the exhibition also examines how the Movement influenced design, fashion, and architecture.

A long and lively review by Fiona MacCarthy in The Guardian reflects on the themes of the exhibition and discusses the influence of Aestheticism on later British art and design.

By Martin Dubois

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