The Healing Power of Arts

Looking for new ways

Arts and healing

For many centuries different cultures

have discovered and used many

different powers of healing. This

knowledge has already managed to

fill many libraries: more than 19,000

entries appear on Amazon when you

search for “Art & Healing”. The literature

alone would justify a special

department at any university or school

of medicine.

Placing paintings in hospitals makes

sense. Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los

Angeles underlines this point with its

exceptional collection of masterpieces:

“The Art of Healing.” When

her husband was hospitalized in 1966,

Marcia Simon Weisman saw the healing

power of art first hand. After her

husband Frederick had made a full

recovery, they decided to launch the

Cedar-Sinai´s prized collection – now

thousands of masterpieces are displayed

in the hospital , allowing both

doctors and patients to enjoy the displayed


We were interested in finding out

what other medical treatments use art

as a healing process. The journey led

us to Spain in search of some examples.

Painting is said to have a therapeutic

effect on the painters themselves.

Healing music and the use of music in

therapy is well known, but are there

healing pictures? Does it work by a

combination of colours and messages

Have arts healing powers?

or by the scene itself? Many artists in

our health classes have discovered the

potential of art and started to investigate

this very question. We were curious

about what they were offering in

Spain, especially in Catalonia, where

so many famous painters have

worked. Barcelona itself is full of

designers and artists and is a city with

a long tradition in the arts.

MAPE in Barcelona runs

the organisation where people

can find a number of

services that are connected

to both Spanish tourism

and a healthy lifestyle. A 7

day tour will get you in

touch with Mediterranean

cooking, as well as learning

skills from both painters

and moviemakers that explain

the healing components of the


“ The main interest for our customers

is to get to experience the same

places and activities

that were the

source of inspiration

and crafted the

character and creative

genius of our

artists”, says Eva

Martinez, Oficina

Técnica ´El Paisaje

de los Genios`.

“The most common

reaction is one

of complete surprise

when they

discover the places

that are related to

this genius.”

It is also good to

know what influenced

the famous

painter Picasso and

helped him to become

so inspired.

Picasso lived in

Horta de Sant Joan

on two separate

occasions. On his

first stay (1898-

1899) he arrived in

ill health, but after spending some

time in the natural surroundings of the

pristine Els Ports mountains, he be-

The tour of geniuses

Pablo Picasso: La Fabrica de Horta

came filled with energy again. He returned

to Horta for a second time in

1909, during the beginnings of the

Cubist movement.

One of the effects of the tour may well


Similar magazines