Art and empathy

Empathy is a term we hear a lot, but what does it mean and how does it work? Looking back through art history, we find many moments when art has allowed us to share in the feelings of others, from Maya Lin’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial, to representations of the Buddhist deity Jizō Bosatsu, along with the Röttgen Pietà, Guáman Poma’s First New Chronicle and Good Government, the ink drawings of Chittaprosad and Zainul Abedin, the work of Ghana Think Tank, and more.

Cite this page as: The Art Assignment, "Art and empathy," in Smarthistory, April 6, 2020, accessed May 20, 2024,