One of the common complaints about Wilde’s novel was that it didn’t take a strong moral stance, and that it demonstrated the author’s own immorality (Wilde was a famously scandalous celebrity). Frustrated with these goody-two-shoes critics, Wilde responded that they had committed “the unpardonable crime of trying to confuse the artist with his subject matter.” This page-long preface, which appeared in the new and revised 1891 version of Dorian Gray (the first was published in 1890), succinctly sums up Wilde’s point of view about art: in a nutshell, the artist is not concerned with morals and ethics when creating his art, but simply attempts to make something beautiful. Readers see what they want to see in the novel, so they only have themselves to blame if they find it scandalous.
The Picture of Dorian Gray was written by Oscar Wilde. It was published in 1890.