Beauty describes something that pleases the eye through a combination of shape, colour and form

1 of 3

What constitutes beauty has been a much-debated topic in Western art. In Grecian times, the philosopher Aristotle thought beauty was about function and proportion, while in the early 1700s, the Earl of Shaftesbury argued that goodness and beauty are one and the same. In 1735 the German philosopher Alexander Baumgarten posed the question ‘What is beauty?’ and it is from this moment that our modern reading of the word begins to evolve. The philosopher Immanuel Kant responded by saying there is no scientific rule for determining what beauty is, as it is subjective, and in the eye of the beholder. 

Related glossary term