The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde
The artist is the creator of beautiful things. To reveal art and conceal the artist is art’s aim. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. Vice and virtue are to the artist materials for an art. From the point of view of form, the type of all the arts is the art of the musician. From the point of view of feeling, the actor’s craft is the type. All art is at once surface and symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril. Those who read the symbol do so at their peril. It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors. We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it. The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely.
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