Recent adventures to lyrical Italy have stirred a passion for beauty; of a depth so piercing that it's surprised even me - the sights, the sounds, the tastes, the atmosphere... everything. The quality of the sculpture and food were easy enough to ascertain, but I could not say the same of the paintings. Cultural encodings aside, the compositions, colours, manner of execution, movement, depth, emotion; all of the things which distinguish a masterpiece from a great work, I realised I had a less than sharp enough eye for.
The experiences uncovered a part of the western concept of beauty that I had only dimly been aware of before: that apart from the subjective aspect of beauty's ability to elicit an emotional response, there were also semi-objective criteria by which beauty was also evaluated. I still hold to the primacy of an emotional response over the proscriptions of institutions, but that does not necessarily invalidate the role of artistic convention.
So I've set out to look for 'truths' in artistic convention, to see if they bear relation to the Essence of Beauty.
Would an analysis of beauty help in its pursuit and capture? A need burns to find out.