Beauty is often defined as a physical attribute of things that makes these things pleasing to perceive. Such things as sunsets, landscapes, beautiful humans and beautiful works of art are all part of beauty, with beauty and art being the main focus of aesthetic studies. The study of beauty has become the basis for many forms of artistic expression. The word ‘beauty’ is also used in a less philosophical sense, relating only to the aesthetic qualities of things.
Greek mythology attributes the origin of beauty to the goddess Aphrodite. In ancient Greek mythology, Aphrodite was the goddess of beauty and genitals. She was regarded as the goddess of love and beauty. It was said that Aphrodite turned into an eagle-like bird, because of her beauty. Later, she became the goddess of sensuality. It was because of this sensuality that she forced Greek artists to paint her in beautiful and seductive forms.
It was because of this that we know today’s word beauty, from the word beauty itself, to the art forms based on beauty. Modern beauty also derives from ancient Greek mythology. For example, the term beauty corresponds to the word heliotrope which is a type of landscape paintings. In ancient Greek, the nymph is often seen as beautiful.
In the medieval period, beauty became associated with the concept of virtue. This was because the middle ages saw the rise in murder and violence throughout the world. This rose to a head during the time of the Crusaders, where many women were killed for being perceived as beautiful by the Crusaders. Others were killed for their clothing and what they wore. Beauty became associated with religious virtues such as chastity, temperance and piety.
In modern times beauty can be subjective. It is up to the beholder to decide whether something is beautiful or not. The beauty standards change from culture to culture, time and even place. Beauty can be subjective for the beholder, for those objects and events that are seen as beautiful by one individual may not be deemed beautiful by another. Beauty therefore becomes a very abstract concept and definition.
In recent years, the word beauty has been associated with money. Beauty in itself does not have anything to do with wealth. Whether something is beautiful for the beholder does not have anything to do with whether or not it is valuable. Beauty pertains to individual perceptions and personal experiences. Beauty is not a concept that can be objectively measured in the scientific sense.