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Gustave Courbet


"Beauty, like truth, is relative to the time when one lives and to the individual who can grasp it."

French Artist

1819 - 1877

Do you believe that beauty is relative and in the eye of the beholder?  I do.  What is perceived as beauty changes from individual to individual and from culture to culture and from century to century.  That is why some people will like a painting and others will hate it.   That is why some people enjoy a particular novel and others dislike it.  Beauty is not absolute.  It is arbitrary, fragile and dependent on the individual.  

What are your standards of beauty?  How do you judge a painting, a drawing or a novel?  What criteria do you use to judge a work of art?  And what makes your judgement correct?  Have you ever put down an artist or his art?  Have you ever criticized a novel, a film, an actor or an author?  We are applying personal standards of taste?  But what makes our judgement valid?  

Some creative leaders are rich and famous in their own time and forgotten after they die?  Others like Van Gogh or Emily Dickinson are unknown in their own time and become famous after their death.  What accounts for this change of fortune?  Is it the changing standards of beauty?

PJ Proudhon

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