Plotinus on Beauty and Form

11 06 2008


Sylvie Guillem in Kitri’s Act I Solo (rehearsal)

Like a dancer taking up different poses, the Forms – and their Beauty- are only the figures in which the fecund simplicity of a pure movement expresses itself: a movement which engenders these forms at the same time as it goes beyond them, all the while remaining within itself. The experience of grace, as we saw, is like this too: “Beauty is nothing but fixated grace” [Leonardo da Vinci]. Every form, therefore, is derivative: “Form is only the trace of that which has no form: indeed, it is the latter which engenders form…”

-Pierre Hadot, Plotinus or the Simplicity of Vision