Beauty – An Age Old Process
Beauty is the aesthetic perception of beauty, a subjective quality of things that makes these things enjoyable to see. Such things as nature, humans, landscapes and works of art are considered to be beauty. Beauty, along with beauty, is the basis of aesthetics, one of the most important branches of psychology. It is through aesthetics that we are able to differentiate between what is ugly and what is beautiful, which is why so many movies are made about beautification.
The word beauty itself comes from the Greek word ‘aktor,’ which means beautiful or lovely. According to the dictionary, the definition of beauty is, ‘A mental quality or state of being beautiful, desirable, lovely, or handsome.’ According to the aesthetic definition, a person’s personal qualities are those qualities that are important to the person’s sense of self-worth.
In the early part of the 16th century, the term beauty became associated with religious and cultural practices. The Greeks and the Romans had several definitions of beauty. One of these was that beauty was the ideal form of a physical body, especially the face, which was seen as a reflection of the soul. The Greek word for beauty, logos, meant the ideal form of a physical object, and thus the concept of beauty was born.
In the Renaissance, the artists saw beauty in the faces of their masterpieces. The Italian painter Jan Van Eyck used different types of facial powder on his canvass to bring out the best aspects of his subjects. Similarly, the Dutch painter Sijman van Eenvenge used light makeup to make his highly detailed paintings more appealing. The Dutch believed that true beauty was found in the faces of people, and not in their clothes, furniture or other material possessions.
Cosmetics also became an important art of the Renaissance in painting and music. Male Renaissance artists worked to improve the features of their faces, making them more attractive and more pleasing to the beholder. Some sought to enhance their features using cosmetics, while others sought to change their features by means of the natural light and colors of the day. Other artists used nature to enrich their works by including garden flowers, herbs and other botanicals in their makeup.
Cosmetics also became an important art of the Baroque period, which lasted from the French Revolution to the Napoleonic era. The Baroque period, which began in the 16th century, focused on emphasizing the artistic sensibility of the age. Much of this came from the work of Manet, whom many consider the father of modern art. Manet painted portraits of his family, and his art contained a strong reliance on the use of cosmetics. He included various kinds of facial powder and white lead pastes, which he used to soften and brighten his subjects’ skins.