Tag Archives: beauty

Young, pretty, and not quite right

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   Photo by Anthony Papagiannis. Unless we are in pediatrics, we start in clinical practice with our patients tending to be in the age range of our parents, or even older. Increasingly, as the grey in our temples is promoted to silver, their mean age gets closer to ours, and the […]

Beauty in breaking

Lealani Mae Y. Acosta Nashville, Tennessee, United States   Photo courtesy of Lealani Mae Acosta. Permission granted by Teresa Briley-Scott.  I had a succulent hanging from my office cabinet, suspended in a clear teardrop-shaped terrarium: its spiny green arches floated above a mound of fake snow, which I intermittently illuminated by touching the built-in switch […]

Beauty actualized

Vincent P. De Luise New Haven, Connecticut   Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss, Antonio Canova, First version, completed 1793, Louvre Museum “First of all, move me, surprise me, rend my heart; make me tremble, weep, shudder; outrage me; delight my eyes afterwards if you can . . .” – Denis Diderot   What is beauty? […]

Notre Dame and gratitude

Elizabeth Cerceo Camden, New Jersey, United States   Notre Dame de Paris, brandend. April 15, 2019. Photograph by Milliped on Wikimedia. On April 15, 2019, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris burned. This event highlighted the integral nature of art and beauty in our culture. We often take for granted the beauty that surrounds us and […]

“Let the people see what I’ve seen”: beauty, suffering, and learning to see

John Eberly Raleigh, North Carolina, United States   John Brewer Eberly, Jr. “Study on seeing, 2007.” Personal collection. Charles Stegeman, professor of fine arts at Haverford College, once took up the task of teaching medical students how to draw. He did so because he observed that students who learned to draw well went on to […]

Can the neuroaesthetics response unleash a path to psychosis?

C. Ann Conn Covington, Louisiana, United States   Prehistoric rock art implies a primitive grammar of the mind found in art and which can be universally accessed. Photo by Cazz on Flickr. How does the brain perceive beauty and what is the biology of transcendent artistic appreciation? Is this epiphanic reaction hijacked during delusional thinking […]

A jigsaw puzzle

Julia Nguyen Phoenix, Arizona, USA   (Photo credit to Geetika Gupta) Imagine yourself browsing the Entertainment section at the local store. Of all the sections you could possibly be in—Beauty, Grocery, Household, Pharmacy—here you are at the Entertainment section, looking for a jigsaw puzzle. There are so many choices: outdoor scenery or abstract? A 1,000-piece […]

La Pieta

Rachel Fleishman Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States   La Pieta, 1498-1499, Michelangelo, St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City. Wikipedia A mother holds her dead child. His body flops open without resistance, freshly dead. His head is cocked back, shoulder lifted, arms release the last vestige of grip. Her face sullen, her hand beside him open and offering, […]

The anatomy of beauty in nineteenth-century England

Alan W. Bates London, United Kingdom   Few characteristics seem more subjective and less amenable to scientific study than beauty. As the philosopher David Hume wrote in 1741, “Beauty in things exists in the mind which contemplates them.” How then did some nineteenth-century European anatomists come to see human beauty as a branch of science […]