When we view art, a complex series of activities go on in the brain, which help us to appreciate it. The aesthetic experience integrates sensory and emotional reactions in a manner linked with their personal relevance. BUT viewing art which we’re told is "fake" DOES NOT stimulate the same type of brain reactions.
read more

Art by some of the most famous painters in history, such as Leonardo DaVinci (who painted, among other things, the Mona Lisa) is often described in writings by their contemporaries. When the paintings that have been written about can no longer be found, art historians begin searching frantically for the missing artwork. Now they have authenticated a DaVinci painting that has been missing for centuries, and they think they’ve found another one, hidden behind a wall.
read more

How can we tell if something is real? Forgeries of paintings by famous artists, even ones that have hung in museums for years, are now being identified using a new scientific method. Even the authenticity of a Jackson Pollack “drip” painting can now be verified.

A “library” of the artist’s works is collected on a computer. The images are then turned into fractals using mathematics. These tiny areas of paint are a particular artist’s signature, that he or she uses again and again, and are completely unique.
read more

The Mozart Effect may not work, but the power of art to heal emotional wounds is well known, but could contemplating a beautiful painting have the same effect on physical pain? If so, this is the BEST KIND of placebo!

Italian researcher Marina de Tommaso asked 12 men and women to pick the paintings they considered the ugliest and the most beautiful, then to think about them while their hand was zapped by a laser (an effect like snapping a rubber band at your hand). They experienced less pain while contemplating the beautiful art.

New Scientist quotes de Tommaso as saying, “Hospitals have been designed to be functional, but we think that their aesthetic aspects should be taken into account too.”
read more