Hospital paintings and the art of healing
Michael Prodger | New Statesman | 1st April 2020
Doctors focus on the body while art prioritises the soul. Pre-Renaissance art tried to provide “edification of the sick”, featuring religious themes like mortality, forgiveness, redemption. By the eighteenth century, art was empathetic because illness was seen as part of the human condition. Art in today’s hospitals is determinedly cheerful – optimism is good for our health.