Famous Portraits to Increase Your Mood

Famous Portraits to Increase Your Mood

Studies have shown that art can give you a feeling of joy and increase your mood. Artwork enhances the sense of relaxation and inspiration. And it is scientifically proven that it is not only when you are creating art that you feel good, but also when you look at the artwork.

When you create or appreciate an artwork, the stress hormone cortisol is reduced in your brain, and the good hormones endorphins and dopamine in your brain are encouraged to be active. Although viewing any good art has this positive influence, there are art scholars and psychologists who believe that viewing good art portraits is the best remedy to increase your mood.

In this article, we’ll discuss a few of the famous portraits we’ve found in our endeavors to determine which renowned portrait paintings increase many people’s moods. 

Surround you with good Art

If you are surrounded by good art, specifically good portrait paintings, the quality of your life will be enhanced. This is one of the reasons why several individuals often visit art galleries. They relax among the famous art portraits and go home afresh. 

Art has aesthetic and emotional value. However, a painting doesn’t have the same influence on everybody. Therefore you have to surround yourself with pieces of art that bring you joy and represent your personality. Thus, find original or professionally made reproductions of portrait paintings and hang them in your home. 

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It is not necessary that you only have famous art portraits around you as the work of an upcoming artist might “speak” to you and could be an excellent portrait to make your day full of joy. 

More about Portrait Famous Paintings and Painters

Let’s dive into how famous portrait paintings can increase your mood. But before we look at specific famous portraits and their influence on people, let’s find out more about “portrait painting.” 

Portrait painting has remained a popular genre of painting for centuries. Most artists have created at least a few portrait paintings during their careers, and some painters are known because of the portraits they’ve created. 

Generally, when an artist is creating a portrait painting, the painter not only captures an exact representation of the subject but tries to emphasize the subject’s physical, mental, and spiritual characteristics in the painting. This complete representation of the subject in the painting evokes emotion within you. 

You should find art portraits that evoke positive emotions, and your mood will continuously be enhanced when you look at the portrait.  

Portrait Paintings don’t Evoke the same Emotions in all Viewers

There are certain people you associate with well in real life, and being with them increases your mood. But the same people don’t have the same effect on everyone – some people can be agitated by them. It is the same with portrait paintings. A portrait that enhances your mood can have a morbid influence on somebody else.

Researchers are still trying to understand this, but they agree most of the time that previous situations and circumstances of the viewer of a portrait influence the viewer’s emotional reaction to the painting. 

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Interestingly, the researchers have also found that art experts like abstract portrait paintings more, while non-experts have a better “connection” with famous classical portrait paintings.

Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo Da Vinci created this oil painting in 1503-1506. It is one of the most popular and known portrait studies in western art history. Currently, it is exhibited in the Louvre in Paris.

The technical front of the painting and the actual subject has fascinated viewers for centuries. Many art lovers have reported that they experience calmness when looking at the portrait. The subject’s pose with her folded arms and the smile that lingers on her mouth let you readily associate with her as a “contented woman.”

The Milkmaid by Johannes Vermeer

“The Milkmaid” by Johannes Vermeer is another famous portrait that evokes positive emotions in many people who view this portrait. Vermeer created this oil on canvas painting in 1658. It is currently exhibited in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

Depicting a kitchen maid’s ordinary and domestic scene pouring milk from a jug, “The Milkmaid differed significantly from Vermeer’s other works. This was the first time he used an older woman as his subject.

Many people can associate themselves with the kitchen maid pouring milk from a jug. However, as it is such a “normal” activity done without any fuss, viewers find that they receive the strength to continue with their own daily tasks by looking at this painting. 

Self-Portrait (1660) by Rembrandt van Rijn

Rembrandt completed this oil on canvas self-portrait in 1606. Currently, it is hanging in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

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This is one of the famous portrait paintings where your mood increases looking at the painting if you know something about the background of the painting. When Rembrandt created “Self-Portrait”, he had lost one of his children and his wife and was nearly bankrupt. These circumstances most probably account for the hopelessness seen on his face.

But this hopelessness on his face gives many people looking at the painting hope for themselves. If a person looking so devastated can create masterpieces afterward, it increases most people’s mood. 

Woman with a Hat (1905) by Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse painted this portrait of his wife in 1905. This oil on canvas painting is currently housed in the San Francisco Museum of Art. 

Matisse created this kaleidoscopic portrait of his wife not to make his depiction as realistic as possible but he wanted to convey a feeling to the viewer. Therefore, with the playful tone of the portrait, he shared how much he loved his wife. And it is this playfulness and happiness that increase the viewer’s mood.


It is a proven fact that famous portrait paintings can enhance your mood, and therefore, it is good to have them around you. Unfortunately, these famous portraits are hanging in art museums or private galleries. You can only get them in your home to “talk to you” every day and enhance your mood is to obtaining professionally done prints or painted reproductions.

About David Sol

I'm Wissam Saddique, and I'm a blogger and content Writer. I've been on this exciting journey for about three years now, starting my blogging adventure back in 2020. As a dedicated blogger and content writer, I have had the privilege of exploring various topics and sharing my thoughts, experiences, and insights with my readers. Whether it's travel, technology, lifestyle, or any other area that piques my interest, I love diving deep into subjects and crafting engaging content.

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