The Picture of Dorian Gray is an example of Gothic fiction in which the great theme is Aestheticism and its relation between life, beauty, disillusions. The first version of this novel was published in the July 1890 edition of Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine as a serial story, but the editors censored the story because offended moral sensibilities. Only in the 1891 the editorial house Ward published in book form the original version of the novel. The story begins with a man, Basil Hallward, painting the portrait of Gray; the artist is infatuated with the protagonist. Dorian begins to think that only beauty is importance and so, distraught that his beauty will fade while the portrait stays beautiful, sell his soul and expresses a desire: only the painted image grows old while he stays beautiful and young.
Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin in 1854. He was a writer, a poet and during the 1880s became one of the most popular playwrights in London. He also became known for his role in the aesthetic and decadent movements. The Picture of Dorian Gray is now considered Wilde’s masterpiece but he also wrote The Importance of Being Earnest and the tragedy Salome. He died in Paris in 1900.