Friday, 6 May 2011
We marked my 60th birthday yesterday by visiting the wonderful exhibition at the V & A, "The Cult of Beauty", which examines the arts and crafts of the Aesthetic movement from 1860 to 1890 or thereabouts, more-or-less carrying on from where the Pre-Raphaelites left off. The movement is said to be a reaction to the industrial age and the ugliness that it brought with it. Certainly, I was struck by the sheer beauty of the works on display, the pictures, the furniture, the designs. It made one feel that modern sensibilities are very dull and that we have lost our desire or our ability (I wonder which) to surround ourselves with 'art for art's sake' or to imbue our lives with pleasure that has real worth.