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.”
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We’ve reported before about how artists’ diseases may have influenced their art. Now researchers think that Monet?s blurred vision, caused by cataracts, may have influenced his famous paintings of water lilies.

In the Independent, Jonathan Brown reports that US ophthalmologist Michael Marmor says that Monet’s cataracts would have made the world seem blurry and yellow-tinted?two characteristics of his later “water lily” series of paintings.

Monet finally had cataract surgery in 1923, at the age of 86. But Brown quotes art historian Chris Riopelle as saying, “[Monet’s eye condition] does not entirely answer the questions?after surgery, Monet’s style did not alter radically.”
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Over the years, there have been suggestions that the enigmatic portrait that is known as the Mona Lisa is actually a portrait of the artist, Leonardo DaVinci, painted as a woman, which is why the sitters identity has been lost to history. In the movie and book The DaVinci Code, it’s alleged that the person sitting next to Jesus in his Last Supper painting is actually Mary Magdalene, rather than St. John. Now a Japanese forensics experts says he has recreated the Mona Lisa’s voice?as well as DaVinci’s own voice.
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We can be thankful that modern medicine exists today, but if it had existed during the 16th to 19th centuries, the world might have missed out on the work of some of the world’s most creative painters, sculptors and poets.
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