The Nature of Beauty in Relation to Art

The word “beauty” is usually defined as a subjective quality of certain objects which makes these objects pleasing to perceive. Such objects could be artworks, nature, landscapes, and humans. Beauty, along with personal taste and art, is perhaps the most significant aspect of aesthetician philosophy, among the various branches of humanities. philosophers have been discussing the relation between beauty and truth for many decades now, though recent debates have refounded the issue of beauty as a subjective quality independent of aesthetic evaluation. Aesthetics scholars also view beauty in a cultural context, defining beauty through the society in which they live.


Aesthetics scholars have long debated the importance of the visual arts in the development of Western society, arguing that many visual innovations such as music and painting were initially used to mediate the effects of ritual in religious ceremonies. Aesthetic value became prominent as a social marker of class and status in early modern Europe, and this process of valuation of beauty extended to the late Middle Ages. A trend towards graded exposure to beauty emerged early in the seventeenth century, when the wealthy began patronizing the works of unknown artists working in the poorer sectors of towns and villages. This tendency towards graded exposure to beauty can be linked to the rise of the ‘harpening’ process, in which cloth-making techniques such as those used in hairdressing or tailoring were modified to make the wearer more aesthetically appealing to the upper classes.

Beauty according to some aestheticians is purely subjective, while others define it as a cognitive attitude or desire based on the existence of certain universal qualities. Aesthetics scholars agree that beauty has both a subjective and objective character, and that beauty is defined in terms of a balance of two kinds of elements. Subjective beauty is what we see in our own minds; objective beauty is what we believe is beautiful. However, there are further divisions between aesthetic values: for instance, some value beauty in proportion to other things, and others value beauty as an independent element. In essences, however, beauty is judged by the sum of all its elements, and beauty objectivists argue that this sum is greater than the sum of its parts.