Can art heal or reduce pain and anxiety?
Do patients who come in contact with attractive art heal faster? More and more hospitals accept that theory. Because of that, many hospitals are transforming their sterile spaces into mini-art galleries.
Marienhaus is an academic teaching hospital for the Johannes Gutenburg university in Mainz Germany and the university of Maastrich the Netherlands. Representatives of both universities were at hand to study this phenomenon when Hubert Roestenburg had his exhibition there. His beautifully expressive flower paintings fit the bill perfectly, they don’t leave anybody untouched, sick or healthy.
The reaction of the patients to Roestenburg’s paintings confirmed what is now widely accepted.
Art does have a positive influence on the healing process, especially on lowering stress and anxiety.
by: Dr. Bert Boyden, M.D.
Reflections and insight in the work and life of the painter and philosopher Hubert Roestenburg.
The first thing the observer notices when he or she looks at the work of Hubert Roestenburg is realizing why in many publications he is compared with the artist Vincent van Gogh, Marc Chagall and German Expressionists such as August Macke, Ludwig Kirchner and Oskar Kokoschka. While this is true in principle, the reality is completely different.
The painter Hubert Roestenburg lives in self-chosen isolation. He intentionally refrains from visiting other painters, museums or exhibitions. Even when he visits his brother Berry, who is also a painter, in the Netherlands, they’ll have coffee together, but they don’t visit Berry’s studio or even talk about art.
On my first visit to Hubert’s art studio, I noticed after many hours that I had never seen anything like this anywhere. Colors, inspiration, ideas and creative speed, everything takes place in a trance-like state, in ecstasy; I had never seen this before. His work is of the highest artistic quality which cannot be compared with other artists. We like to categorize and pigeonhole artists, but we cannot do this with Hubert Roestenburg. The Dutch art critic Henk Egberts once wrote about Hubert Roestenburg’s work: “It is not only unique, but has been created to emit a thousand years of enjoyment”
On my second visit to Astrid and Hubert Roestenburg, I gained a completely different insight. Even as a 12-year old Hubert had painted pictures of great ingenuity. Even more astonishing is the fact that he has retained this ingenuity into advanced old age.
I have reached the conclusion that this painter-phlosopher is one of painting history’s greatest. Due to his ingenious style, it does not suffice to compare Hubert Roestenburg only with painters, but with other great artists of history e.g. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and/or Ludwig von Beethoven. These were men of genius and only ingeniousness leads to timeless and absolute greatness.
Hubert Roestenburg is of course the last surviving German Expressionist painter. He completely changed my perception of art. I dream of Hubert’s paintings. Hubert’s paintings are a feast of spirit and color in inconceivable dimensions. Are these not our dreams as well?
Let us hope that Hubert can make his dreams visible to us for a long time to come.