Besides being one of the most important writers of the 19th century, Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wilde was also a very clever and brilliant man who had elegant and refined manners. However, he was also unscrupulous, nonconforming and eccentric; for this reason he became the symbol and the idol of the cultural avantgarde of his time. His libertine behavior made him hostile to the English aristocracy which made him imprisoned for moral violations. But what about Oscar Wilde’s life? Oscar Wilde was born on 16 October 1854 in Dublin, Ireland, by an important surgeon, William Wilde, and an Irish nationalist poet. He studied at Trinity College in Dublin and at the age of 20 he won a scholarship to study at Oxford University, where he was an outstanding scholar and a promising poet; Meanwhile, he became familiar with the Aesthetic work of two eminent art critics: Walter Pater and John Ruskin. The Aesthetic movement was a literary and artistic movement active during the second half of the 19th century which reacted against the mechanization of life promoted by the rise of industrial society and mass culture, in support of a more aesthetic mode of existence based on the values and spirit of art. To make life more self-consciously “artistic”, adherents of aestheticism adopted flamboyant modes of dress and behavior, and expressed themselves in affected and highly artificial ways. Anyway, after his studies, Wilde moved to London in 1879 where he began writing and mixing in high society. Still, he remained a great aesthete throughout his life and pursued beauty in all his forms like literature, interior design, clothes, furniture, objects and so on. Wilde became soon a popular and eccentric dandy, a great wit and brilliant conversationalist (in fact he shocked and delighted his listeners). In 1881 he published his first volume of poems. In 1882 he gave a lecture tour in America and Canada and then he spent several months in Europe where he met some of the most important authors of that time like Zola, Hugo, Balzac and Verlaine. He also wrote a collection of stories for children and a series of highly successful plays like Lady Windermere’s Fan, A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband and his masterpiece: The Importance of Being Earnest. But what really makes Oscar Wilde one of the most famous and appreciated authors all over the world are his aphorisms and his masterpiece: The Picture of Dorian Gray, which is considered the manifesto of the Aesthetic movement expressing Wilde’s ideas on art in general. The Picture of Dorian Gray treats also other themes like homosexuality for example. It’s just because of homosexual offenses that Wilde was arrested and imprisoned in the spring of 1895. On his release in 1897 Wilde decided to emigrate to France because his popularity had declined sharply. He died in poverty of meningitis in Paris in 1900 and was buried there in the same cemetery as the poet Charles Baudelaire who had had a profound influence on his life and works.