The word comes from a Greek word which means to perceive, or to feel.

In fact the Aesthetic mood stresses sensations as the main source of art. The task of the artist is first of all to feel sensations and live "aesthetically" and then to make the render feel these sensations. The aesthetic message was to live one's life as a work of art, that is to say to feel all kinds of sensations.

The founder of the English Aesthetic Movement was Walter Peter (1839-1894) and its leading exponent was Oscar Wilde (1854-1900).
The aesthetics were profounly influenced by the French "Symbolists" poets and by the ideas of Walter Peter on the criticism of art. The movement is important because it rapresented a complete break with the ideas which had been fundamental to Victorian literature; moreover several of its doctrine strongly influence the writers and critics of the 20th century. This movement was generally considered decadent; it wanted to move art away from its traditional role as teacher and moral guide.

Art had its own reason and putpose, it schould produce Beauty. Art for art's sake was the motto of Aesthetic Movement wich stressed sensations as the main source of art. The "art for art's sake" theory and practice led the Aesthetic movement to a kind of "spiritual and moral perversity". Wilde, wfo represent the entire English Aesthetic Movement, with his work The Picture of Dorian Gray meant to provoke and shock.