-as defined by 'The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory' (4th ed.), J. A. Cuddon:
"The phrase connotes the idea that a work of art has an intrinsic value without didactic
or moral purpose. This concept seems to have been first put forward by
Lessing in ‘Laokoon’ (1766), and became something of an artistic battle-cry or
slogan following the publication of Gautier’s Preface to ‘Mademoiselle de
Maupin’ (1835). Throughout the 19th century it became a guiding
principle for many writers. Oscar Wilde was one of its leading advocates."