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A movement in the fine and decorative arts and architecture of the 1870s and 1880s, which manifested itself first in Great Britain and subsequently in the United States. Its defining beliefs were in the supremacy of the beautiful and the autonomy of a work of art, adapted from the French concept of ‘art for art's sake’. The artist who most closely approached these ideals was the American James McNeill Whistler, most famously in the Peacock Room he decorated 1876–7 for F.

Text source: The Oxford Concise Dictionary of Art Terms (2nd Edition) by Michael Clarke

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