April 26, 2019

“The Beauty festival”: ideas and reflections on the concept of beauty

Starting from May 2019 the “beauty festival” will start in Verona, a unique event in the Italian panorama, a series of shows, concerts and poetry where extraordinary artists come and will exhibit in suggestive historical-architectural scenarios talking about beauty.
The VI edition, dedicated to the theme “The soul and the Shapes” focuses on the artistic expression of the spirit in its various expressions such as music, literature, philosophy, painting, theater and cinema.
The choice to name an artistic-cultural festival as “beauty festival” and not “festival” of art “or” of music “appears at first curious and offers us an important starting point to ask ourselves what beauty is.

Philosophers and poets have always tried to pigeonhole the concept of beauty into schemes and definitions, while never fully achieving their intent as beauty, escaping from scientific schemes, it is something that can be perceived subjectively, but can hardly be defined objectively.
On the other hand, the same term “aesthetic” from the Greek “aistesis” or “to perceive” refers to the sphere subjective of the subject, beyond an objective and universal definition of beauty.
Davide Hume in “The rule of taste”, a treatise on aesthetic philosophy, defines beauty not as the property of a thing, but as a perceptive state of the subject that looks at the thing itself, summarizing this concept in the famous formula “beauty is in the eyes of those who contemplate it”.
Kant, in accordance with Hume’s thought, defines the Beautiful not as an inherent property, but as a subjective state of perception of pleasure, independent from object existence.

Going even further in time, Pericles and Plato defined beauty, “kalòs”, as a inseparable trinomial between beautiful, true and good, linking it to inner and moral values, ad an elevation of the spirit. Expressed in art and expressed in aesthetics, this manifestation appears to herald an extended and deep meaning of beauty.
In this context, in fact, the concept of beauty is not limited to everything that is harmonious and that gives sight satisfaction, but beauty is understood as something that gives satisfaction to all the senses and does not limit itself to pleasing the physical sphere, but also invades our soul.
And this is the concept of beauty applied to art and to all its expressive forms, such as the music, poetry, theater and architecture.

Since ancient times, the idea of ​​external beauty has been accompanied by inner beauty comprehensive of man’s culture, knowledge and moral values.
Already in ancient Greece caring for the body was accompanied by caring for the spirit. Men, in fact, in addition to training in the gym they attended theaters, sculpted and painted real Art.
In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries the care of the body of young women was accompanied by one cultural education and teaching of very strict rules of behavior and etiquette they went to attribute, for the ideal of time, beauty and harmony to the woman.
These scenarios, to date, appear to be anachronistic.
Does beauty, in the modern era, still have a value and if so in what terms it expresses and finds recognition in our society?
Today, it would seem that the only concept of beauty worthy is that of external beauty made of ideal shapes conformed to fashion and diffused through social media.

The contemporary ideal is that of beauty and youth. Beauty, obsessively sought after and coveted, it appears as a means to achieve success, money, prestige and happiness.
This social mentality, the result of a cultural decay and a massification that tends to simplify everything, and comes from the fact that searching for true beauty is very tiring as it requires a cultural background resulting from studies.

Simply looking for purely and simply external beauty is much easy.
But can really only be considered beautiful what is perfect in shape? Is  a person is beautiful only if his face and body correspond to geometric-mathematical shapes and standard measures?
This way of discussing would be like comparing the human being to a Greek fruit statue that shows pre-defined and mathematically studied proportions, but the human being is much more than this, it is intellect, it is personality, it is fascination.

External beauty is certainly a winning card, it allows to have greater esteem of them giving the person a confident and determined attitude, but it cannot be the ONLY target.
There are human beings which amazingly bring outside the exterior and which, although belonging to the part interior of the self, is perceived outwardly. Regardless of whether you call it a personality, intelligence or fascination this inner side of the man who wants it or not determines and influences the external beauty and the same external beauty is emphasized or diminished by this interiority. Beauty being pure perception, it cannot be determined and confined within definite measures and shapes. And here is that beauty is perceived as a perfect balance of inner and outer harmony.

Quoting a famous phrase from Audrey Hepburn “the beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she is not what she wears, make-up in her face or in the way of fixing her hair. A woman’s beauty can be seen in her eyes, because that is the open door to his heart, the source of his love. The beauty of one woman is not in her makeup, but in her soul. It is in the tenderness that gives, in love, in the passion that expresses. A woman’s beauty grows over the years “.

Art exhibitions such as the “Beauty festival” offer us a reason to remind us of the true meaning of beauty.
Treat your body, but don’t forget to take care of your soul too.