Why We Think Nature is Beautiful

A Lecture by Gene Hargrove

Most people today believe that the natural world is beautiful.

In the Middle Ages, matters were more complicated. Many people did not believe that nature was beautiful. Others thought it was only beautiful as part of a greater whole. Still others believed that nature, though beautiful, was a temptation that conflicted with love of God.

This presentation explains how we came to appreciate the beauty of nature in a modern sense. The story involves many developments in the arts, the humanities, and the sciences over many centuries.

Frederic Edwin Church, Twilight in the Wilderness, 1860, Cleveland Museum of Art