Why do we call something beautiful? To answer this question, we may say that it is when we see that we learn to appreciate and call something beautiful. We may have appreciated each of the paintings' color and texture or maybe the paintings have brought out in us various feelings that enabled our minds to wander into the scenes suggested in each of them. But is it really in seeing that we call something beautiful? What about blindness or deafness? Are we limited if we are without the senses of sight and hearing? Still the question stands.
Beauty is described as that which delights the senses or exalts the mind. I do believe that things are interpreted beyond what is perceived solely by our eyes especially when it comes to judging things aesthetically. I must say that blindness as well as deafness, do not impair one's abilities to call something beautiful -- for what makes something beautiful is not identified exclusively with its appearance but also with the sound or the taste it produces. Furthermore, beauty is manifested in various textures, scents, and other myriad characteristics which brings us sensations. A blind man can still feel and with the texture of one's skin and the shape of one's face, he can call something beautiful.
I remember asking a friend about what sense, among the five senses (sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell), would she choose if she is entitled to only one. Without a thought she replied, "my sense of taste". When I asked why, her reason was, "because I am French!" It made me realize that food, to some people, could be more than something we ingest to survive. For my friend, food is music... food is painting. A bad meal can ruin a night just as a bad music can ruin mine.
If for one person, beauty can be standardized and can be experienced only by the sense of sight, he is talking about the beauty of the ego and not of the self. A kind of beauty that fades and is rather superficial, not the kind of beauty that pleases one in the moral sense.
I believe in the evaluative theory of philosophical aesthetics... beauty is indeed, in the eyes of the beholder.
Link to another post:
5 Patterns of Experience