art and beauty


Art is one thing; science another. But scientists are closing in on ways to objectively define art and beauty. As it turns out, it really is in the eye (or actually, brain) of the beholder.

Professor Zeki adds, “Almost anything can be considered art, but we argue that only creations whose experience correlates with activity in the medial orbito-frontal cortex would fall into the classification of beautiful art.

“A painting by Francis Bacon, for example, may have great artistic merit but may not qualify as beautiful. The same can be said for some of the more ‘difficult’ classical composers — and whilst their compositions may be viewed as more ‘artistic’ than rock music, to someone who finds the latter more rewarding and beautiful, we would expect to see greater activity in the particular brain region when listening to Van Halen than when listening to Wagner.” –Science Daily


Writing Prompt: Add to your character sketch. What does your character find beautiful? Include all the senses. How does this shape him or her in ways that create drama or tension in your story?

Journaling Prompt: Write about what you find beautiful. Include all your senses.

Art Prompt: Beauty

Nonfiction / Speech Writing Prompt: Write about what you consider beautiful and what you consider art.

Photo Credit: shannonkringen on Flickr

2 Responses to Prompt #48: Art and Beauty

  1. zencherry says:

    Ohhh I LOVE this information. They can actually see the brain interpreting great art? Coolness. 😉

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