The Experimental Psychology of Beauty

By C. W. Valentine | Go to book overview

Chapter IV FORM: LINES, SHAPES AND SUGGESTED MOVEMENT

We have seen that mere patches of colour, of no significant shape, may be in themselves highly pleasing. For full aesthetic enjoyment, however, it is not enough, of course, that the eye should be stimulated by beautiful colours. The beauty of form and of composition must be added too, just as pleasing musical tones and chords must be arranged into various rhythms and orders if the highest beauty

Figure II Simple geometrical forms
of music is to be realized. Further, shape and form may be found pleasing apart from colour -- indeed, with the very minimum of material, such as plain black lines on a white background, just as, again, we may find pleasure in rhythms made by the mere tapping of a pencil on a table.


Experiments with simple lines and figures

One of the most interesting and, to many people, surprising things which experiments have revealed, is the fact that people can find themselves markedly pleased or displeased even with simple lines and curves, often much to their own astonishment. They might have been less surprised if they had known that Plato had declared, in his Philebus, that such lines and figures may possess "absolute

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