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Research Article

Toward A Brain-Based Theory of Beauty

  • Tomohiro Ishizu,

    Affiliation: Wellcome Laboratory of Neurobiology and Wellcome Department of Imaging Neuroscience, University College London, London, United Kingdom

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  • Semir Zeki mail

    zeki.pa@ucl.ac.uk

    Affiliation: Wellcome Laboratory of Neurobiology and Wellcome Department of Imaging Neuroscience, University College London, London, United Kingdom

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  • Published: July 06, 2011
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0021852

Reader Comments (3)

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How an artist sees....

Posted by gwenreed on 08 Jul 2011 at 00:39 GMT

It would be most informative to know what the paintings and music excerpts were.

I would rate most Picassos more beautiful than most Ingres, for example. As I would rate most Oriental art more beautiful than most Western art.

Artists see differently, so I would like to see results from artists as compared to general population.

Thanks

No competing interests declared.

RE: How an artist sees....

zzktgirl replied to gwenreed on 08 Jul 2011 at 02:02 GMT

I read the article hoping to see a list of the stimuli as well. The radio broadcast on PRI with Semir Zeki mentioned a few: Bach was considered by all to be beautiful as was Ingres' La Grande Odalisque; Ligeti's work and the "Ugly Duchess" were considered ugly by almost all of the subjects.

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: How an artist sees....

gwenreed replied to zzktgirl on 08 Jul 2011 at 21:08 GMT

In art school we were taught to choose one camp or another... Ingres vs Delacroix. Ingres was voted most ugly, his Odalisques grotesque distortions. I still shudder to look at them.
Instead of Matsys' Ugly Duchess which is a caricature (when compared to his Moneylender and Wife) I would choose Frans Hals Malle Babbe, and Domenico Ghirlando Old Man and Grandson ... Examples where the great artists do not recoil from what is "ugly" but make a study that is beautiful.
What about Goya Vulcan eating his children? This was actually a mural in the artist's dining room!
And what of Bosch? Very hard to say is it beautiful or ugly.
It goes on and on ...

No competing interests declared.