Hospital patients expect that the medicine doctors give them will improve their health. But it’s possible that the nondescript painting of a country house, or an idyllic landscape hanging on a nearby wall, may also be part of the prescription. 

When it comes to what style of art should be shown in hospitals, psychologists have suggested that figurative works are more beneficial to patients than abstract ones. But recently, this preference for figurative art in hospitals was challenged by researcher Stine Maria Louring Nielsen and professor Michael Finbarr Mullins of Aalborg University in Denmark. Their research found that, despite what has previously been thought, abstract art also has positive effects on wellbeing, and inspires meaningful personal contemplation.

Period18 Dec 2017

Media coverage


Media coverage


  • art in hospitals
  • patient satisfaction
  • figurative and abstract art