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PrepTest 78, Passage 2, Question 14

The primary reason middle-class individuals historically became patrons of the arts, according to Matthew Arnold, revolves around their desire for respectability and status rather than a genuine appreciation for the art itself.
  • Matthew Arnold characterized the aristocracy as 'barbarians' and the middle class as 'Philistines' obsessed with respectability.
  • The middle class's patronage of the arts was driven by a desire to establish a reputation as patrons rather than by an intrinsic value or aesthetic appreciation of the arts.
  • Arnold suggests that the middle class's engagement with the arts was superficial, aimed at enhancing their status among peers rather than reflecting personal taste or values.
  • Artists had to work with little personal taste or insight from their patrons, indicating a lack of genuine engagement with the art commissioned.
Understanding Inference Questions
Analyzing Matthew Arnold's Perspective
Deciphering the Middle Class's Motivations