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'Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder' is an old cliche: That beauty is a subjective matter which depends on individual prejudices.If beauty were truly subjective, if it depended entirely on our perception it could not be studied.
And of the images that do survive larger images in stone tend to predominate because as they are more durable.This sort of study has revealed a huge amount about the relationship between public images and individual perceptions of beauty in modern Europe.In ancient India only the public image survives - statues, paintings, and carvings.The sources available can be divided into three broad categories, based upon the media used.The first sort is painting, of which almost none survive despite what literary sources indicate must have been a lively production.Society, culture, past experience, all have a role to play in determining what an individual considers beautiful.
And this personal aesthetic does have some coherence, an objective reality, as it is not (though it appears to be) an entirely personal choice.
And so many personal aesthetics invariably tend towards a communal aesthetic, a fashion or a trend, a common ideal of what beauty is, or should be. In Kushan India what was considered to make a woman beautiful, had that changed from earlier times, did it change after the Kushan period? What alternative ideals or concepts of beauty existed?
And how did this affect the lives of women and their perceptions of themselves?
For academic analysis some objective reality needs to at least be assumed.
Without that sense of an external reality beyond individual caprice (which modern, trendy philosophers often call a referant) there is no basis for preferring on opinion or interpretation over another.
With a few exceptions there are no marked differences in the image presented between different sorts of art, as long as we remain in the same cultural zone.