Walter Pater was a 19th century English literary and art critic, and essayist. His collection of essays Studies in the History of the Renaissance published in 1873 placed Pater at the center of an interesting circle in Oxford, who gained respect in London and elsewhere. The principles of what would be known as the Aesthetic Movement were partly traceable to Pater. Pater believed in the ideal of the aesthetic life, his cult of beauty as opposed to bare asceticism, and his theory of the stimulating effect of the pursuit of beauty as an ideal of its own. Imaginary Portraits is a book not of biographies, but of fictional accounts of real people. Essays included are A prince of court painters -- Denys l'Auxerrois -- Sebastian van Storck and Duke Carl of Rosenmold..