The Art of Beauty


Beauty is a complex topic spanning several fields. This includes art, architecture, mathematics, and science. It also entails a great deal of debate. Some believe that it is a subject of dubious quality, while others claim that it is objectively good.

The ancient Greeks had a number of theories on the topic. The ancients considered beauty a measure of merit. According to Aristotle, living things must display an order of their parts. In classical times, the word ‘bellus’ was used to mean ‘beautiful’, and it was common to hear the phrase ‘Belleus’ used to describe young girls or women. Bellus, an Indo-European word, might have been an acronym for DW-EYE.

The modern world has seen a renaissance of interest in beauty. In the early twentieth century, capitalism was associated with beauty and the aesthetic. As the twentieth century progressed, this association was questioned. During the 1980s, this interest was revived, and the concept was revisited. However, despite its popularity, the art of beauty is still a contested field.

Many philosophers have offered their own takes on the question of what is the best definition of beauty. Among those who have offered their own definitions are John Locke, Thomas Aquinas, and George Santayana. Each of them has offered a unique take on the topic. While all have provided some interesting observations, they have not yet produced a definitive answer.

Although there are no hard and fast rules, many experts agree that the best way to measure the quality of a work of art is to ask the viewer. It is a subjective process, so individual tastes are paramount. For instance, a cubist painting of a woman with three eyes is not necessarily a believable representation of a human being.

One of the most striking features of the modern art scene is the constant tension between individual tastes and the general acceptance of the art form. It can be argued that, if art is to remain an art form, it should be left to the artistically inclined and the uninitiated. Despite this, there are many instances where beauty is the defining characteristic of a piece of art.

The aforementioned octave is no exception. In the eighteenth century, the French revolutionaries linked beauty to wealth and aristocracy, and it was also often associated with a particular style. Those who sought to counter the aristocratic aura of the arts turned to hedonism, as evidenced by a few Fragonard paintings filled with decorative motifs.

Likewise, a more recent example would be George Santayana’s Aesthetics and the Art of Living. Though it was the last major account of the genre to appear in English for a generation, Santayana’s opus contained a dazzling number of gems. Of the many, his “magic triangle” was arguably the most impressive.

Other notable entries include the Aesthetic Theory of Theodor Adorno, whose definition of beauty was a bit more concise. His theory is largely centered on the fact that it is a duty of the artist to demonstrate the ugliness of a world that creates ugliness.