It is our history as a species that determines what we find beautiful – women are attracted to strong and masculine men (because they think they can turn them into good providers for their brood), men like women with big breasts and curvy hips.
Is this an Urban Idyll?
And landscapes are beautiful if they hold out the promise of a decent life: some open land where we can hunt, a forest near-by to have an escape from predators, anything with water in it. These are the aesthetics of an ape.
NEWS FLASH! We are no longer living in caves! Isn’t it time to update this obsolete concept of Neanderthal beauty?
Here is my suggestion: a hustling and bustling place, full of human activity – and of opportunities to earn a decent living. There are people, cars and rail carriages – everything is on the move like the springs in a clockwork.
A bar: the promise of a hot meal and a cold drink. A sports stadium: the promise of happy hours of leisure in a convivial atmosphere. An urban idyll, actually.
The painter William Constable would have understood, by the way. His “Haywain” is very much the 18th century equivalent of this scene. We find his motives “bucolic” – the Romantics found them dull.