The Concept of Beauty in Modern Art

Beauty is commonly defined as the mental or physical impression of things which makes these things beautiful to see. These things include sunsets, nature, human beings and other works of art. Beauty, along with personal taste and aesthetic, is the most important theme of aesthetics, another of the major branches of contemporary philosophy. The word ‘beauty’ can also be related to the word ‘happiness’, as beauty is often associated with the former while happiness is often associated with the latter.


Many artists debate on the interpretation of beauty in the work of their own. Aesthetics are not only related to each other, but also interpret each other in complex ways. In art, beauty can be understood not only in terms of the visual art created but also in terms of its artistic value as such.

Art historians trace the development of beauty back to the very beginnings of human art, for example, the cave paintings of ancient Greece. Later, art scholars traced the development of beauty in the works of ancient Greece and Rome to the time of Tiberius, the Romans and the Dutch in the 15th century. French critics and aestheticians also attribute the development of beauty in painting to the works of Rembrandt and Da Vinci. Modern aesthetics particularly agrees with the arguments of ancient aesthetics that beauty is subjective and that there is no such thing as absolute beauty.