Although beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, there are many instances where just about everybody beholds a concept or an image in the same way. How many men (or women) would genuinely find Ksenia Sukhinova (pictured) anything other than beautiful?
Beauty is either created by God (by nature) or by man. A colour, such as green, can be created by either.
A beauty of nature may be short-lived or enduring, whether it is a fleeting sunrise, almond blossom, a tiger or a lake. The beauty in natural creations such as a rose or a red admiral will eventually fade, but it doesn’t date. Man-created beauty doesn’t either – it’s only fashion that becomes dated. The beauty of an island or a beach can be spoiled by human activity such as “development”, but not dated.
To almost anybody, surely, the natural mountains, forests and meadows of the Tirol are beautiful. The magnificent Alhambra Palace in Granada is man-made, while the lakeside village of Sirmione in Italy is a creation of man in a naturally exquisite setting. It’s likewise, Portofino.
Maradona’s 1986 goal in Mexico and Pete Sampras’s service are also sights of dramatic beauty.
The beautiful song, “La Paloma”, was created by its composer (Sebastian Yradier), as were the slow movements of Mozart’s Piano Concertos 20 and 21, while the voices of Joan Sutherland, Edith Piaf or a great Welsh choir were temporary gifts of God, honed to perfection.
From bespoke leather jackets to the Alhambra Palace, there are many beautiful human creations that withstand the test of time.
For me the two most beautiful creations by man that I can think of both happen to be British engineering designs. The E-type Jaguar of the 1960s has a feminine kind of beauty that will never age. But I find even better the more rounded and sturdier design of the new Aston Martin DBS Volante (pictured). It’s not just fashion that makes me prefer the Volante; it’s progress.
But my most visually beautiful human creation is a railway engine (pictured). The combination of aesthetic perfection, character and power is encompassed in the A4 locomotive of Sir Nigel Gresley of 1937. There is still much nostalgia for the age of steam, and when you behold this magnificent standard bearer, it is not difficult to see why.