Quotes by: Walter Pater

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Walter Pater
Walter Pater, photograph Elliott & Fry, 1890s
Born (1839-08-04)4 August 1839
Stepney, London
Died 30 July 1894(1894-07-30) (aged 54)
Oxford
Resting place Holywell Cemetery
Occupation Academic, essayist, writer
Language English
Nationality British
Ethnicity Caucasian
Alma mater The Queen's College, Oxford
Genre Essay, art criticism, literary criticism, literary fiction
Notable works The Renaissance (1873), Marius the Epicurean (1885)
Notable awards Honorary LL.D, University of Glasgow (1894)

The service of philosophy, of speculative culture, towards the human spirit, is to rouse, to startle it to a life of constant and eager observation.
Walter Pater
With this sense of the splendour of our experience and of its awful brevity, gathering all we are into one desperate effort to see and touch, we shall hardly have time to make theories about the things we see and touch.
Walter Pater
To regard all things and principles of things as inconstant modes or fashions has more and more become the tendency of modern thought.
Walter Pater
What is important, then, is not that the critic should possess a correct abstract definition of beauty for the intellect, but a certain kind of temperament, the power of being deeply moved by the presence of beautiful objects.
Walter Pater
Such discussions help us very little to enjoy what has been well done in art or poetry, to discriminate between what is more and what is less excellent in them, or to use words like beauty, excellence, art, poetry, with a more precise meaning than they would otherwise have.
Walter Pater
In a sense it might even be said that our failure is to form habits: for, after all, habit is relative to a stereotyped world, and meantime it is only the roughness of the eye that makes two persons, things, situations, seem alike.
Walter Pater
The Renaissance of the fifteenth century was, in many things, great rather by what it designed then by what it achieved.
Walter Pater
The various forms of intellectual activity which together make up the culture of an age, move for the most part from different starting-points, and by unconnected roads.
Walter Pater
And the fifteenth century was an impassioned age, so ardent and serious in its pursuit of art that it consecrated everything with which art had to ad as a religious object.
Walter Pater
One of the most beautiful passages of Rousseau is that in the sixth book of Confessions, where he describes the awakening in him of the literary sense. Of such wisdom, the poetic passion, the desire of beauty, the love of art for its own sake, has most.
Walter Pater
A counted number of pulses only is given to us of a variegated, dramatic life. How may we see in them all that is to to be seen in them by the finest senses?
Walter Pater
Not to discriminate every moment some passionate attitude in those about us, and in the very brilliancy of their gifts some tragic dividing on their ways, is, on this short day of frost and sun, to sleep before evening.
Walter Pater
Great passions may give us a quickened sense of life, ecstasy and sorrow of love, the various forms of enthusiastic activity, disinterested or otherwise, which comes naturally to many of us.
Walter Pater
Philosophical theories or ideas, as points of view, instruments of criticism, may help us to gather up what might otherwise pass unregarded by us.
Walter Pater
Experience, already reduced to a group of impressions, is ringed round for each one of us by that thick wall of personality through which no real voice has ever pierced on its way to us, or from us to that which we can only conjecture to be without.
Walter Pater
Art comes to you proposing frankly to give nothing but the highest quality to your moments as they pass.
Walter Pater
At first sight experience seems to bury us under a flood of external objects, pressing upon us with a sharp and importunate reality, calling us out of ourselves in a thousand forms of action.
Walter Pater
Many attempts have been made by writers on art and poetry to define beauty in the abstract, to express it in the most general terms, to find some universal formula for it.
Walter Pater
A very intimate sense of the expressiveness of outward things, which ponders, listens, penetrates, where the earlier, less developed consciousness passed lightly by, is an important element in the general temper of our modern poetry.
Walter Pater
No account of the Renaissance can be complete without some notice of the attempt made by certain Italian scholars of the fifteenth century to reconcile Christianity with the religion of ancient Greece.
Walter Pater
That sense of a life in natural objects, which in most poetry is but a rhetorical artifice, was, then, in Wordsworth the assertion of what was for him almost literal fact.
Walter Pater
For art comes to you proposing frankly to give nothing but the highest quality to your moments as they pass, and simply for those moments' sake.
Walter Pater
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