An Art History of Happiness: Western Approaches to the Good Life through the Last 1000 Years, As Illustrated in Art

Article


Lomas, T. and Lomas, Colin 2018. An Art History of Happiness: Western Approaches to the Good Life through the Last 1000 Years, As Illustrated in Art. Journal of Positive Psychology and Wellbeing.
AuthorsLomas, T. and Lomas, Colin
Abstract

A prominent criticism of positive psychology is that it has been shaped by its Western context, and yet that this ‘situatedness’ often remains unacknowledged. Consequently, this paper offers an archaeological analysis of conceptualisations of happiness in the West. More specifically, the paper explores the emergence of significant ideas relating to the good life through the innovative device of studying artworks, on the premise that being featured in art is an effective signifier of when a given idea rose to prominence. Taking a time span of 1,000 years, one artwork per century has been selected to illustrate the emergence of a particular stream of thought during that centennial period. The paper elucidates the roots of current ideas around happiness in fields like positive psychology, and in the West more generally. It is hoped this type of ‘consciousness-raising’ activity may help such fields acknowledge and overcome any limitations arising from their cultural situatedness.

JournalJournal of Positive Psychology and Wellbeing
ISSN2587-0130
Year2018
PublisherGökmen Arslan
Publisher's version
License
Web address (URL)http://journalppw.com/index.php/JPPW/article/view/64
Publication dates
Online14 Apr 2018
Publication process dates
Deposited17 Apr 2018
Accepted09 Apr 2018
Accepted09 Apr 2018
Page rangeIn Press
LicenseCC BY-NC-SA 4.0
Permalink -

https://repository.uel.ac.uk/item/84869

  • 7
    total views
  • 7
    total downloads
  • 2
    views this month
  • 2
    downloads this month

Related outputs

Developing ethical guidelines for positive psychology practice: An on-going, iterative, collaborative endeavour
Lomas, T., Roache, A., Rashid, T. and Jarden, A. 2019. Developing ethical guidelines for positive psychology practice: An on-going, iterative, collaborative endeavour. The Journal of Positive Psychology.
Ethical guidelines for positive psychology practice
Jarden, A., Rashid, T., Roache, A. and Lomas, T. 2019. Ethical guidelines for positive psychology practice. International Journal of Wellbeing. 9 (3), pp. 1-30.
Positive Semiotics
Lomas, T. 2019. Positive Semiotics. Review of General Psychology. 23 (3), pp. 359-370.
Anger as a moral emotion: A 'bird's eye' systematic review
Lomas, T. 2019. Anger as a moral emotion: A 'bird's eye' systematic review. Counselling Psychology Quarterly.
Positive work: A Multidimensional Overview and Analysis of Work-Related Drivers of Wellbeing
Lomas, T. 2019. Positive work: A Multidimensional Overview and Analysis of Work-Related Drivers of Wellbeing. International Journal of Applied Positive Psychology. 3 (1-3), p. 69–96.
Etymologies of wellbeing: Exploring the non-English roots of English words used in positive psychology
Lomas, T. 2019. Etymologies of wellbeing: Exploring the non-English roots of English words used in positive psychology. The Journal of Positive Psychology.
Mindfulness-based interventions in the workplace: An inclusive systematic review and meta-analysis of their impact upon wellbeing
Lomas, T., Medina, Juan Carlos, Ivtzan, I., Rupprecht, Silke and Eiroa-Orosa, Francisco José 2018. Mindfulness-based interventions in the workplace: An inclusive systematic review and meta-analysis of their impact upon wellbeing. The Journal of Positive Psychology.
Experiential cartography and the significance of “untranslatable” words
Lomas, T. 2018. Experiential cartography and the significance of “untranslatable” words. Theory & Psychology. 28 (4), pp. 476-495.
The spatial contours of wellbeing: A content analysis of metaphor in academic discourse
Lomas, T. 2018. The spatial contours of wellbeing: A content analysis of metaphor in academic discourse. The Journal of Positive Psychology. 14 (3), pp. 362-376.
The quiet virtues of sadness: A selective theoretical and interpretative appreciation of its potential contribution to wellbeing
Lomas, T. 2018. The quiet virtues of sadness: A selective theoretical and interpretative appreciation of its potential contribution to wellbeing. New Ideas in Psychology. 49, pp. 18-26.
The value of ambivalent emotions: a cross-cultural lexical analysis
Lomas, T. 2017. The value of ambivalent emotions: a cross-cultural lexical analysis. Qualitative Research in Psychology.
The spectrum of positive affect: A cross-cultural lexical analysis
Lomas, T. 2017. The spectrum of positive affect: A cross-cultural lexical analysis. International Journal of Wellbeing. 7 (3), pp. 1-18.
The dynamics of spirituality: A cross-cultural analysis of untranslatable terms
Lomas, T. 2018. The dynamics of spirituality: A cross-cultural analysis of untranslatable terms. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality. 11 (2), pp. 131-140.
The flavours of love: A cross-cultural lexical analysis
Lomas, T. 2018. The flavours of love: A cross-cultural lexical analysis. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour. 48, pp. 134-152.
The Roots of Virtue: A Cross-Cultural Lexical Analysis
Lomas, T. 2018. The Roots of Virtue: A Cross-Cultural Lexical Analysis. Journal of Happiness Studies. 20 (4), pp. 1259-1279.
Gritty Leaders: The Impact of Grit on Positive Leadership Capacity
Schimschal, Sarah E. and Lomas, T. 2018. Gritty Leaders: The Impact of Grit on Positive Leadership Capacity. Psychological Reports. 122 (4), pp. 1449-1470.
The dimensions of prosociality: a cross-cultural lexical analysis
Lomas, T. 2018. The dimensions of prosociality: a cross-cultural lexical analysis. Current Psychology.
A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of the Impact of Mindfulness-Based Interventions on the Well-Being of Healthcare Professionals
Lomas, T., Medina, Juan Carlos, Ivtzan, I., Rupprecht, Silke and Eiroá-Orosa, Francisco 2018. A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of the Impact of Mindfulness-Based Interventions on the Well-Being of Healthcare Professionals. Mindfulness. 10 (7), p. 1193–1216.
Developing a Growth Mindset through outdoor personal development: can an intervention underpinned by psychology increase the impact of an outdoor learning course for young people?
O’Brien, Kate and Lomas, T. 2016. Developing a Growth Mindset through outdoor personal development: can an intervention underpinned by psychology increase the impact of an outdoor learning course for young people? Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning. 17 (2), pp. 133-147.
The impact of mindfulness on well-being and performance in the workplace: an inclusive systematic review of the empirical literature
Lomas, T., Medina, Juan Carlos, Ivtzan, I., Rupprecht, Silke, Hart, R. and Eiroa-Orosa, Francisco José 2017. The impact of mindfulness on well-being and performance in the workplace: an inclusive systematic review of the empirical literature. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology.
‘It’s like taking a bit of masculinity away from you’: towards a theoretical understanding of men’s experiences of infertility
Dolan, Alan, Lomas, T., Ghobara, Tarek and Hartshorne, Geraldine 2017. ‘It’s like taking a bit of masculinity away from you’: towards a theoretical understanding of men’s experiences of infertility. Sociology of Health & Illness.
Positive developmental psychology: A review of literature concerning well-being throughout the lifespan
Lomas, T., Hefferon, K. and Ivtzan, I. 2016. Positive developmental psychology: A review of literature concerning well-being throughout the lifespan. The Journal of Happiness & Well-Being. 4 (2), pp. 143-164.
Zen and the Art of Living Mindfully: The Health-Enhancing Potential of Zen Aesthetics
Lomas, T., Etcoff, N., Van Gordon, W. and Shonin, E. 2017. Zen and the Art of Living Mindfully: The Health-Enhancing Potential of Zen Aesthetics. Journal of Religion and Health. 56 (5), pp. 1720-1739.
A systematic review of the impact of mindfulness on the well-being of healthcare professionals
Lomas, T., Medina, Juan Carlos, Ivtzan, I., Rupprecht, Silke and Eiroá-Orosa, F. 2017. A systematic review of the impact of mindfulness on the well-being of healthcare professionals. Journal of Clinical Psychology. 74 (3), pp. 319-355.
The impact of mindfulness on the wellbeing and performance of educators: A systematic review of the empirical literature
Lomas, T., Medina, Juan Carlos, Ivtzan, I., Rupprecht, Silke and Eiroá-Orosa, F. 2016. The impact of mindfulness on the wellbeing and performance of educators: A systematic review of the empirical literature. Teaching and Teacher Education. 61, pp. 132-141.
Professionalising positive psychology: Developing guidelines for training and regulation
Lomas, T. and Ivtzan, I. 2016. Professionalising positive psychology: Developing guidelines for training and regulation. International Journal of Wellbeing. 6 (3), pp. 96-112.
The art of second wave positive psychology: Harnessing Zen aesthetics to explore the dialectics of flourishing
Lomas, T. 2016. The art of second wave positive psychology: Harnessing Zen aesthetics to explore the dialectics of flourishing. International Journal of Wellbeing. 6 (2), pp. 14-29.
A meditation on boredom: Re-appraising its value through introspective phenomenology
Lomas, T. 2016. A meditation on boredom: Re-appraising its value through introspective phenomenology. Qualitative Research in Psychology. 14 (1), pp. 1-22.
Positive psychology – The second wave
Lomas, T. 2016. Positive psychology – The second wave. The Psychologist. 29, pp. 536-539.
Flourishing as a dialectical balance: emerging insights from second-wave positive psychology
Lomas, T. 2016. Flourishing as a dialectical balance: emerging insights from second-wave positive psychology. Palgrave Communications. 2, p. 16018.
Positive Art: Artistic Expression and Appreciation as an Exemplary Vehicle for Flourishing.
Lomas, T. 2016. Positive Art: Artistic Expression and Appreciation as an Exemplary Vehicle for Flourishing. Review of General Psychology. 20 (2), pp. 171-182.
Personal and Collective Resilience Building- A Suicide Prevention Program for Schools Using Positive Psychology. Consultancy Project for an Irish Secondary School
Ward-Goldsmith, Caroline and Lomas, T. 2016. Personal and Collective Resilience Building- A Suicide Prevention Program for Schools Using Positive Psychology. Consultancy Project for an Irish Secondary School. Journal of Neurology & Stroke. 4 (3), p. 00133.
Recontextualizing Mindfulness: Theravada Buddhist Perspectives on the Ethical and Spiritual Dimensions of Awareness.
Lomas, T. 2017. Recontextualizing Mindfulness: Theravada Buddhist Perspectives on the Ethical and Spiritual Dimensions of Awareness. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality. 9 (2), pp. 209-219.
Difficulties generating self-compassion: An interpretative phenomenological analysis
Bayir, Aydan and Lomas, T. 2016. Difficulties generating self-compassion: An interpretative phenomenological analysis. The Journal of Happiness & Well-Being. 4 (1), pp. 15-33.
Mindful Living in Older Age: a Pilot Study of a Brief, Community-Based, Positive Aging Intervention
Lomas, T., Ivtzan, I. and Yong, Chee Yik 2016. Mindful Living in Older Age: a Pilot Study of a Brief, Community-Based, Positive Aging Intervention. Mindfulness. 7 (3), pp. 630-641.
Towards a positive cross-cultural lexicography: Enriching our emotional landscape through 216 ‘untranslatable’ words pertaining to well-being
Lomas, T. 2016. Towards a positive cross-cultural lexicography: Enriching our emotional landscape through 216 ‘untranslatable’ words pertaining to well-being. The Journal of Positive Psychology.
Positive cross-cultural psychology: Exploring similarity and difference in constructions and experiences of wellbeing
Lomas, T. 2015. Positive cross-cultural psychology: Exploring similarity and difference in constructions and experiences of wellbeing. International Journal of Wellbeing. 5 (4), pp. 60-77.
Integrating Mindfulness into Positive Psychology: a Randomised Controlled Trial of an Online Positive Mindfulness Program
Ivtzan, I., Young, Tarli, Martman, Janis, Jeffrey, Allison, Lomas, T., Hart, Rona and Eiroá-Orosa, F. 2016. Integrating Mindfulness into Positive Psychology: a Randomised Controlled Trial of an Online Positive Mindfulness Program. Mindfulness. 7 (6), pp. 1396-1407.
A systematic review of the neurophysiology of mindfulness on EEG oscillations
Lomas, T., Ivtzan, I. and Fu, C. 2015. A systematic review of the neurophysiology of mindfulness on EEG oscillations. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews. 57, pp. 401-410.
Second Wave Positive Psychology: Exploring the Positive–Negative Dialectics of Wellbeing
Lomas, T. and Ivtzan, Itai 2015. Second Wave Positive Psychology: Exploring the Positive–Negative Dialectics of Wellbeing. Journal of Happiness Studies.
Cultivating equanimity through mindfulness meditation: A mixed methods enquiry into the development of decentring capabilities in men
Lomas, T., Edginton, Trudi, Cartwright, Tina and Ridge, Damien 2015. Cultivating equanimity through mindfulness meditation: A mixed methods enquiry into the development of decentring capabilities in men. International Journal of Wellbeing. 5 (3), pp. 88-106.
Positive Social Psychology: A Multilevel Inquiry Into Sociocultural Well-Being Initiatives.
Lomas, T. 2015. Positive Social Psychology: A Multilevel Inquiry Into Sociocultural Well-Being Initiatives. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law.
New Ways of Being a Man: "Positive" Hegemonic Masculinity in Meditation-based Communities of Practice
Lomas, T., Cartwright, Tina, Edginton, Trudi and Ridge, Damien 2015. New Ways of Being a Man: "Positive" Hegemonic Masculinity in Meditation-based Communities of Practice. Men and Masculinities.
Making meaning through mentoring: Mentors finding fulfilment at work through self-determination and self-reflection
Kennett, Pam and Lomas, T. 2015. Making meaning through mentoring: Mentors finding fulfilment at work through self-determination and self-reflection. International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring. 13 (2), pp. 29-44.
A religion of wellbeing? The appeal of Buddhism to men in London, United Kingdom.
Lomas, T., Cartwright, Tina, Edginton, Trudi and Ridge, Damien 2014. A religion of wellbeing? The appeal of Buddhism to men in London, United Kingdom. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality. 6 (3), pp. 198-207.
The LIFE Model: A Meta-Theoretical Conceptual Map for Applied Positive Psychology
Lomas, T., Hefferon, K. and Ivtzan, I. 2014. The LIFE Model: A Meta-Theoretical Conceptual Map for Applied Positive Psychology. Journal of Happiness Studies.
A Qualitative Analysis of Experiential Challenges Associated with Meditation Practice
Lomas, T., Cartwright, Tina, Edginton, Trudi and Ridge, Damien 2014. A Qualitative Analysis of Experiential Challenges Associated with Meditation Practice. Mindfulness.
'I was so done in that I just recognized it very plainly, "You need to do something"': Men's narratives of struggle, distress and turning to meditation
Lomas, T., Cartwright, Tina, Edginton, Trudi and Ridge, Damian 2013. 'I was so done in that I just recognized it very plainly, "You need to do something"': Men's narratives of struggle, distress and turning to meditation. Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine. 17 (2), pp. 191-208.
Critical positive masculinity
Lomas, T. 2013. Critical positive masculinity. Masculinities and Social Change. 2 (2), pp. 167-193.
Men Developing Emotional Intelligence Through Meditation? Integrating Narrative, Cognitive and Electroencephalography (EEG) Evidence.
Lomas, T., Edginton, Trudi, Cartwright, Tina and Ridge, Damien 2013. Men Developing Emotional Intelligence Through Meditation? Integrating Narrative, Cognitive and Electroencephalography (EEG) Evidence. Psychology of Men & Masculinity. 15 (2), pp. 213-224.
Engagement with meditation as a positive health trajectory: Divergent narratives of progress in male meditators
Lomas, T., Ridge, Damien, Cartwright, Tina and Edginton, Trudi 2013. Engagement with meditation as a positive health trajectory: Divergent narratives of progress in male meditators. Psychology and Health. 29 (2), pp. 218-236.