The Classical Conception of Beauty

The classical conception of beauty is characterized by the arrangement of parts into a coherent whole. This idea embodies the primordial Western conception of beauty and can be seen in many classical and neoclassical works of art. According to Aristotle, in his Poetics and Metaphysics, “beauty is the arrangement of objects in harmony with one another.” It is the symmetry and the definiteness of forms that make them beautiful.


The term beauty may be used as a noun. While it is not always a singular concept, beauty can have a variety of weights depending on the unique character of a work. It generally connotes a high degree of value and contrasts with other terms such as pretty, orthodox style, and the absence of strange elements. However, beauty is not a universal quality that can be applied to any piece of art.

Aristotle and Plato disagreed as to what beauty is. The classical conception of beauty treats beauty as a matter of mathematical ratios and proportions. The Polykleitos sculpture ‘The Canon’ reveals the complexity of the notion of beauty. Although the classical view of the concept of aesthetics differs from that of Aristotle, it demonstrates the ability to reliably reproduce beauty and its attributes. These are just some of the differences between classical and modern concepts of the concept of beautification.