Those that would argue that true beauty i s everywhere might point to the beauty of a flower, or the starlit night. These exp eriences are c ertainly common, but do they show that true b eauty is commonplace? Flowers might b e considered beautiful, but how often does a person stop to look at or appreciate every flower? Flowers are so common that in many cases, they are ignored or viewed as nothing special. However, on those rare occasions- exceptional occasions, one might say-when we want to commemorate an event or express emotion, we notice the beauty of flowers. Thus, it is not the commonplace flower that strikes us as beautiful, but the exceptional situations themselves that move us to appreciate the flower.
Now consider the exceptional. L eonardo da Vinci s Mona Lisa is surely one of the most exceptional, and b eautiful, paintings ever created. Fe;w p e ople who view the painting are not moved by the sheer beauty of it, and the Mona Lisa is instantly recognized as a masterpiece of art. And yet, there have been literally millions of paintings produced in human history. Is every single one of them b eautiful? Does every one of those paintings have the impact that da Vinci s does? Of course not. In order to find beauty, we must separate the exceptional cases from the common ones. True b eauty is such because it stands out from the masses of the average and pedestrian.
Like da Vinci s Mona Lisa, the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris is an exceptional, and exceptionally b eautiful, object. Churches and cathedrals line the streets of most major cities in Western Europe, but few p ossess the renown of Notre Dame, one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the world. Compared to a common church or cathedral, Notre Dame is truly awe-inspiring;
Victor Hugo used the building as the backdrop for his magnificent book The Hunchback of Notre Dame and thousands of tourists travel untold miles to view the cathedral. That sort of beauty is not p ossessed by just any church on the corner. In conclusion, it s clear that true beauty is found not in the commonplace, but in the exceptional. The Mona Lisa and Notre Dame Cathedral are both exceptional examples of fairly commonplace things and it is thes e exceptions that are noted a s truly b eautiful. If anything, the commonplace serves only as a contrast so that we can understand what true b eauty really is.