In his book Shakespeare and Platonic Beauty, John Vyvyan says “Considered philosophically, love and beauty were invented by Plato.” Both love and beauty were central to his description of the Ideal, and they have influenced every philosophical and cultural movement since. Join us this Valentine’s Day for a discussion of what Plato and Shakespeare, among others, have to say about climbing Love’s “ladder of ascent” to reach what Plato calls “the great sea of Beauty.” It is meant for everyone who would like to expand their capacity to give or receive love. David A. Beardsley is the author of The Ideal in the West, and teaches a course by that name at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Rutgers. He lives in Highland Park.
About the painting: Dante and Beatrice is a painting dated 1884 by the artist Henry Holiday that is on display in the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, England. It is considered to be Holiday’s most important painting.