6. Beauty
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  1. Beauty

   Saint Thomas wrote to be beautiful all that whose apprehension pleases. We understand by apprehension the capture through the senses, understanding or heart. You can also say to be lovely or beautiful that whose contemplation pleases.
It is pleasant to contemplate a Velázque’s painting, listen to a Mozart’s symphony, feel some verses from Antonio Machado and stare at a sunset.
The pleasure produced by beautiful things is spiritual, pure and uninterested. A Goya’s painting provides pleasure to all visitors and does not ended of providing that pleasure. The painting remains. However, a delicacy provides pleasure to only one: who eats it and consumes it.

  A. Choose the right letter: a, b, c. (If the letter turns into red the answer is correct)

  1. Who wrote the definition of beauty?

    a. Antonio Machado
    b. Saint Thomas
    c. Velázquez


  2. Where is there beauty?

    a. in a Velázquez’s painting
    b. in a plate of food
    c. in an icecream


 3. Contemplating a sunset causes

    a. disgust
    b. irritation
    c. pleasure


 4. Pleasure from beautiful things is

    a. spiritual
    b. material
    c. useful


 5. A plate of food provides a pleasure

    a. spiritual
    b. uninterested
    c. material


 6. Everyone gets pleasure in what is

    a. material
    b. beautiful
    c. interesting


  2. Qualities of beauty

   We can focus on the following ones:

 a) The unity among the variety. Objects with some unity and some variety at the same time become more attractive. For instance: a film with only unity (one scene), i. e., repeated again and again, did not provide any pleasure. And so it would be upset if it had only variety, i.e., many scenes without any relation among them. Everything is valuable and men can rejoice in their own existence and in the existence of the rest of beings.

   b) The golden ratio. Beautiful things have to be proportioned. A human figure with very short legs and a big head would not be beautiful. The more pleasant proportion is the golden ratio, which says: in a rectangle the longest edge has to be at least as the sum of both related to the longest. For example, if the longest edge is 8 cm. length, then the shortest one should be about 5 cm. since 8 divided by 5 is equal to 13 divided by 8.

c) Rhythm and symmetry. The arts of time, such as music, dancing and poetry must take into account rhythm; and the arts of space, such as painting and architecture, must take into account symmetry.

 d) Expressivity. A beautiful thing has to be expressive, to be alive, to inspire pure and disinterested feelings. It has been also said that beauty is the splendor of order

  B. Choose the rigth letter: a, b, c

  1. A movie repeating scenes lacks

    a. variety
    b. unity
    c. proportion


  2. The golden rate can belongs to

    a. a circle
    b. a parallelogram
    c. a triangle


 3. A picture of a man with a tiny head has no:

    a. symmetry
    b. expression
    c. proportion


 4. The arts of time must have:

    a. unity
    b. symmetry
    c. rhythm


 5. The arts of painting and architecture have to take into account:

    a. symmetry
    b. rhythm
    c. unity


 6. The beautiful object must have life or:

    a. rhythm
    b. expressivity
    c. proportion



  3. Types and degrees of beauty

   We observe the natural beauty of mountains, trees and animals, i.e., in nature. The artistic beauty is that produced by human beings, such as music, painting and literature.

   We can distinguish six degrees of beauty: nice, comical, funny, elegant, magnificent and tragic.

   a) Nice is the beauty of utilitarian things, or the beauty of small things. For example, a car, a house, a ring or a watch are nice things.

   b) The comical comes from the pleasant contemplation of something disproportionate. For instance, if we see a mayor dancing with a chair can be pleasant and comical, or disagreeable or ridiculous.

   c) Elegant is the simply beautiful. For instance, a dress with few ornaments becomes attractive.

   d) Magnificent is the beauty of big things. Examples: a big mountain, an Egyptian pyramid and a storm in the sea.

   e) In something tragic there is a contrast between what is valuable but weak and what is less valuable but strong. For example, it becomes tragic that instinctive passions (which are lower and powerful) overcome reason and freedom (which are superior and weak). The struggle of a weak man against the powerful destiny is tragic.


  C. Choose the right letter: a, b, c.

  1. What type of beauty has a mountain?

    a. artistic
    b. tragic
    c. natural


  2. What type of beauty has music?

    a. artistic
    b. tragic
    c. natural


 3. What type of beauty is there in utilitarian things:

    a. comical
    b. nice
    c. magnificent


 4. The simply beautiful is:

    a. elegant
    b. comical
    c. tragic


 5. Watching with pleasure a desproportionate thing turns:

    a. nice
    b. comical
    c. elegant


 6. From the contrast between the weak and strong emerge:

    a. the comical
    b. the nice
    c. the tragic



  4. Consequences

   Every man has experienced the desire to embellish their surroundings. Primitive men developed the rock art and from then on painters, architects, musicians, poets and other artists have emerged.

   Everybody wishes to have beautiful things, such as a house, a car, clothes, jewelry, etc. and to see and watch lovely things in clothing, cinema and museums. That’s why we have to develop and improve our sense of aesthetics.

   Men get better looking for truth, performing the good and creating or enjoying themselves in beauty.

   Not all men have to be artists, but all of us can develop our sense of aesthetics and the taste for beautiful things.


| Educational applications | Philosophy |  For young | In Spanish | Interactive |

®Arturo Ramo García.-Record of intellectual property of Teruel (Spain) No 141, of 29-IX-1999
Plaza Playa de Aro, 3, 1º DO 44002-TERUEL