Beauty heals

From the New Scientist In pain? Take one masterpiece, three times a day

The power of art to heal emotional wounds is well known, but could contemplating a beautiful painting have the same effect on physical pain?

To investigate, Marina de Tommaso and a team from the University of Bari in Italy asked 12 men and women to pick the 20 paintings they considered most ugly and most beautiful from a selection of 300 works by artists such as da Vinci and Botticelli.
The subjects rated the pain as being a third less intense while they were viewing the beautiful paintings, compared with contemplating the ugly paintings or the blank panel. Electrodes measuring the brain's electrical activity suggested a reduced response to the pain when the subject looked at beautiful paintings

from:, painting: Sandro Boticelli


  1. Very interesting post. I've always believed looking at art has transformative healing powers.

    BTW, thank you for your well wishes on my nursing exam Martina. I appreciate it!

  2. Welcome back Gina! Yes, i found that interesting too. We need more beautiful things and paintings in hospitals - spread the news :) Art is more than just icing on the cake.


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