The quote “the perception of beauty is a moral test” is attributed to Henry David Thoreau. Thoreau was an American philosopher and writer. He was born in Massachusetts in 1817 and died there in 1862. He advocated for a simple kind of life - the kind that we often see people pursue in the movies when they are sick of being in a city. Moving out towards the country, into a place with more nature than the city.
He is also one of the original proponents of civil disobedience. It is thought that he influenced the actions of people like Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, and Leo Tolstoy. In particular, it was his paper “Civil Disobedience” that influenced many people’s actions in this regard.