Art of Medicine
Dec 1999

Pieter Brueghel's Winter Landscape with a Bird Trap

Audiey Kao, MD, PhD
Virtual Mentor. 1999;1(4):29-30. doi: 10.1001/virtualmentor.1999.1.4.imhl1-9912.


Pieter Bruegel (about 1525-69), Winter Landscape with a Bird Trap, 1565. Oil. 38 x 56 cm. Wiltshire, Wilton House.

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 [1-10].


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  4. Hyman R. Choosing art for your hospital: some basic do's and don'ts. 1979;53(6):95-98.
  5. Machaver H. Famous works of art create a therapeutic patient environment. Hospitals. 1979;53(18):106-107.
  6. Feight JW. Art and the hospital environment. Health Care Manage Rev. 1988;13(2):87-91.
  7. Scott S. Hospitals don't brush off the many benefits of art. Mod Healthcare. 1992;22(23):54-56.
  8. Bower JO. Incorporating art into the patient experience. AORN J. 1995;61(5):858-862.
  9. Hardgrove C. Children respond to therapeutic art. Hospitals. 1980;54(8):67-69.
  10. Birren F. Human response to color and light. Hospitals. 1979;53(14):93-96.


Virtual Mentor. 1999;1(4):29-30.



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