Beauty is a subjective and objective concept, based on the emotions of observers. It is said to be in the eye of the beholder, although the ability to judge beauty is often referred to as a “sense of taste.” Experts generally agree on the definition of beauty, but not always. There are a number of important factors that influence what is considered beautiful. To identify what is beautiful, consider the following three characteristics. Let us consider each of these characteristics in turn.
First, consider what constitutes beauty. According to Santayana, beauty is a feeling or experience that brings pleasure. When we feel pleasure in something, our body responds by responding in a certain way. But, if beauty is not always a pleasant sensation, then it is not beauty. It is the feeling of pleasure that makes beauty a virtue. Secondly, beauty is subjective. What is considered beautiful to us may be not a person’s idea of beauty.
The classical conception of beauty describes beauty as an arrangement of parts into a cohesive whole. This conception of beauty is the primordial Western conception of beauty and is exemplified in neo-classical art. Aristotle argues in the Metaphysics and Poetics that order is an essential ingredient of beauty. The symmetry of a painting or sculpture is considered to be the main attribute of beauty. The same applies to an object that is beautiful because it is symmetrical, which makes it more pleasing.