A magnificent invention from the late romanticism, the dandy is another of the multiple figures built by the bourgeoisie to replace the values of a decapitated aristocracy. That society that was left decapitated advanced by trial and error along the industrial revolution, when democracy and its corresponding technical control were still blooming and lacked any media support. This is, from the eyes and mouth of the monetary society.
This why the dandy is part of the extensive romantic family of the trivial heroes that show the masses of people their inadequacy for the system, either under the shape of the rebel, the dammed, the objector or the living-room revolutionary, in substitution of the old religious and ecclesiastic models of saint, martyr, or chose one. Its integration capacity was what triggered the market of fashion.
The figure, nevertheless, does not wear out in the late romantic archetype but prolongs until occupying the entire 20th century through what is called the "artist of vanguard" or the "compromised intellectual", which still crawls moribund in our own 21st century.
We know that aesthetics are deeply related with beauty and with art, which do not necessarily mean the same. In some occasions -the lesser- the real aesthete founds a new beauty. Depositing his sight over it, he claims the attention of others; on other occasions he supports in the tradition to recreate his own aesthetically canon. In the first case, only some -aesthetes too- capture, adopt and propagate this new form. In the second it is society -in its most snobbish and fleeing strata, that of fashion- who immediately is reflected in that creation.
Names? Each of us have our own particular list. In mine we find Visconti, Beistegui, Praz o Anthony Blunt. Some may span from Manolo Blanik to Peter Greeneway, and going through Andy Warhol. But the aesthete, is he so for all of his life (a life destined to be somehow a work of art)? Can the nature of the aesthete be ephemeral? Starting from the models mentioned, my conference will focus on a little known period of Llorenç Villalonga, the one between wars.