Walter Pater: Imaginary Portraits

(2653 words)

The expression “imaginary portrait” was coined by Walter Pater in 1878, when it appeared in a letter he sent to George Grove, editor of Macmillan's Magazine, to describe his original experiment in creative fiction, the short story “Imaginary Portraits 1. The Child in the House”. Hitherto Pater had published art criticism with Studies in the History of the Renaissance (1873) – something of a success de scandal – as well as essays on literature, philosophy and mythology. In “The Child in the House” he reproduced the impressionistic approach of his criticism to create an autobiographically-based tale in which action is interiorised and dialogue nonexistent. Proustian ante l…

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Citation:
Bizzotto, Elisa. "Imaginary Portraits". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 06 October 2007
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=9864, accessed 23 August 2014.]