The Cult of Beauty

In April this year the V&A Museum launched ‘The Cult of Beauty Exhibition', a documentation of the Aesthetic Movement between 1860-1900. As it reaches its final few days (the exhibition closes this Sunday 17th July) I managed to attend and it definitely did not disappoint… The Aesthetic Movement evolved and reflected peoples desire to be surrounded by beauty. They wanted to escape materialism and the ugliness of mass production - the search for a new kind of beauty began.

As expectations changed the notion of ‘Art for Art’s Sake’ was born. This type of art ‘existed only in order to be beautiful: pictures that did not tell stories or point morals; sculptures that simply offered visual and tactile delight and dared to hint at sensual pleasures’

The idea of ‘Art for Art’s Sake’ stirred 19th Century Britain and has paved the way we look at fashion, art and design today. Interestingly, the desire many of us have to surround ourselves with beautiful objects and people in our every day lives has stemmed from this.

Some of my favourite paintings were by Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Frederic Leighton, who both painted beautiful women. It is unbelievable that a painting can express the delicate qualities of the hair and skin – today so effortlessly captured by photography!

Sometimes in order for us to inspire the future we must acknowledge trends and events from our past. If you haven’t had a chance to check out the exhibition already I would urge you to go over the weekend! If you do let me know what you think...

To find out more information check out the webpage:

http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/exhibitions/cult-of-beauty/about/