AMA Journal of Ethics

Formerly Virtual Mentor

Illuminating the art of medicine

Journal of Ethics Header

AMA Journal of Ethics

Formerly Virtual Mentor

Illuminating the art of medicine

Virtual Mentor. December 1999, Volume 1, Number 4.

Images of Healing and Learning

  • Print

Pieter Brueghel's Winter Landscape with a Bird Trap

Winter Landscape with a Bird Trap, by 16th century Flemish painter Pieter Bruegel, shows how art and visual images have long been used to promote the healing process.

Pieter Bruegel (about 1525-69), Winter Landscape with a Bird Trap, 1565. Oil. 38 x 56 cm. Wiltshire, Wilton House. (Available at: http://metalab.unc.edu/wm/paint/auth/bruegel/.)

Art and visual images have long been used to promote healing processes. Research has shown that certain works of art can positively affect patients' clinical outcomes. Representations of nature—for example, a picture of a pond surrounded by trees—can have beneficial effects, whereas abstract artworks, those open to a variety of conceptual interpretations, appear to be less therapeutic in a hospital or nursing-home setting.



References

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