Beauty is widely defined as a subjective aspect of objects which makes these objects aesthetically pleasing to see. Such objects may be artistic works of art, landscapes, humans or beautiful objects in general. Beauty, along with beauty, is perhaps the most important area of aesthetics, among the major branches of visual philosophy.
There are many different theories on beauty. According to some of these theories beauty is purely an objective quality, existing independent of the aesthetic experience. Under the labels of objectivity and subjectivity, beauty may be defined as the agreement between the aesthetic experience and the thinker concerning the appearance of an object. Some of these philosophers further define beauty by saying that beauty is a purely subjective experience. However, most philosophers agree that beauty is a combination of various aesthetic experiences, thus beauty being subjective to the different individual perceptions of beauty.
Beauty has been in the center of debate since the start of time. The ideas of beauty have been evolved into practices by different cultures, civilizations and religions over time. In Western culture, beauty is usually associated with the physical beauty of an object, such as beauty in a piece of artwork or facial features of a person. However, beauty is also a highly personal experience, with many people claiming different kinds of beauty, just as there are many different kinds of personalities.
The term beauty was first used by the ancient Greek philosophers to define art, particularly music. According to them, beauty was a unique and primary essential characteristic of things. In order for an object to be considered art, it should meet three basic and essential qualities, namely beauty, proportion and symmetry. Thus, it could be considered an aesthetic quality if the composition of the work would meet these standards.
Beauty became an essential characteristic of a variety of works in the European Renaissance. This is because artists across Europe were beginning to experiment with new forms of artistic expression through their paintings and sculptures. In the 17th century, with the French Revolution, the concept of beauty began to play an increasing role in European society. Painting became more socially acceptable, and the creation of works of visual art began to take on higher value and importance.
The concept of beauty is very important, but the concept of beauty varies greatly from person to person. What one person finds beautiful is not necessarily the same as what another person would consider beautiful. Similarly, what one beholds as beauty may be considered ugly by another. Beauty is subjective, and each person will find their own beauty – theirs is an essential quality of their personality, which is separate from the universal ‘purity’ that beauty represents.