DILETTANTE, an Italian word for one who delights in the fine arts, especially in music and painting, so a lover of the fine arts in general. The Ital. dilettare is from Lat. delectare, to delight. Properly the word refers to an "amateur" as opposed to a "professional" cultivation of the arts, but like "amateur" it is often used in a depreciatory sense for one who is only a dabbler, or who only has a superficial knowledge or interest in art. The Dilettanti Society founded in 1733-1734 still exists in England. A history of the society, by Lionel Cust, was published in 1898.
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This page was last modified 29-SEP-18
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