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The Concept Of Beauty What Is & What Is Not? How Important Is It And How Much Do You Owe To Evolution.

1627 words - 7 pages

The concept of beauty and what it is or is not beautiful is a much debated and complex subject. Many different philosophers and psychologists over hundreds of years have devoted a great deal of time to understanding what makes something beautifully appealing and why. The approach I decided to look at was how is beauty truly perceived is it really in the eye of the beholder or is it part of an evolutionary process that occurs without knowing. To then move on to how the concept of was important in the past and still is just as important in our society today. Also the extreme measures some individual go to, to meet the unrealistic ideals of super-model like appearances and beyond. Finally do we pay to much attention to what is categorized as beautiful as a western society or has media and advertising pushed it to far.The great philosopher Plato wrote of a system of measuring perfect proportions which was called the "golden proportions", in which, amongst other things, the width of the ideal would be two-thirds it length, while a nose would be no longer than the distance between the eyes. A concept the Artists of the Renaissance a period of re-birth and re-newel of ideas from the Greek-Roman time. Not only was the influence of such philosophers as Plato seen in art it was displayed through the upper-class society of the time. The concept of idealisation refers to 'perfection' in both form and the physical environment. Plato established the belief that everything had a 'perfect form' in the mind of God. So therefore artists of the Renaissance tried to create the most ideal space using the Golden section technique and stability within their compositions. In both society and art, restraint was a key Renaissance ideal. A multitalented, calm and collected individualWho was knowledgeable about all subjects, became popular Italian society and was a direct reflection of individuals such as Plato.In terms of the leaders of this re-newed love for order and restraints was Leonardo De Vinci who was a master in many fields and way beyond his years in terms of philosophy. Leonardo De Vinci's 'Vitruvian Man' c.1490 (ref. Image 1) displays what can only be described as his ideal proportions of a man. Not only is the man perfectly proportioned he is also of ideal symmetry with each sector of his body precisely proportioned to its corresponding side. Looking at these concepts you can believe that many are true to today and how we perceive things and people who are beautiful, for instants the concept of symmetry has been scientifically proven to be inherently attractive to the human eye. However it has been defined not with proportions, but rather with similarity between the left and right side of the face. So it could be argued that the Greeks were only partially correct.Research has found that babies spend more time staring at pictures of symmetric individuals then they do at photos of asymmetric ones. Could this be purely because they think they are attractive? But...

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