Art of Love or Love of Art?


One of the paradoxes that Oscar Wilde uses in his book The Picture of Dorian Gray, is in regards to Basil’s affection for Dorian. However, it is unclear if his affection is for Dorian or for the art he created from Dorian. It is almost as if he doesn’t know that he could be attracted to his art. Instead he projects his feelings actually towards Dorian; however, the reader gets this feeling that he does not even really know Dorian Gray by anything more than his looks and the way he behaves while sitting for the painting. If he is indeed attracted to Dorian then his feelings can be considered genuine. However, if he is attracted to what he created from Dorian and is only placing feelings towards Dorian, Basil can be considered as vain. Vain because he thinks so highly of his work that he himself has fallen in love with it. And to place such a high feeling on something you created yourself can not be considered anything other than vain.


2 Responses to “Art of Love or Love of Art?”

  1. lmaple2013 Says:

    I completely agree with this! It is hard to identify whether Basil is only in love with Dorian because of the beautiful painting or in love with the beautiful painting because it is of Dorian. Great insight!

  2. jacjones5 Says:

    I agree. I was very confused in the beginning as to whether Basil was in love with Dorian or the portrait of Dorian. Basil is even unsure himself. At first he believes that he is in love with the person but he later realizes he might just be in love with the painting and not Dorian at all.

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