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"Compassion in Social Condemnation"
Oil on Canvas,
36" x 48"
100% original, 100% hand panted
COPYRIGHT©Marta Sytniewski 2010.
Compassion is a combination of empathy, sympathy and an intense drive
toward action aimed at alleviating the suffering of another person. Empathy is the
ability to understand the affective state another person and to experience a comparable
affect (Rueckert & Naybar, 2008). Sympathy is a tender, caring and sorrowful emotion
aimed toward someone who is suffering. The foreground figure of the women in the
white dress in this painting embodies the virtue of compassion in its epitomic form.
Fueled by empathy and sympathy, she falls on her knees with a passionate force toward
the laying man to provide aid for him. Psychological research (Hoffman, 1986/1984;
Hume,1966) found that prosocial behavior, helping behavior, and altruism, self-
The women in this painting is single-
Numerous studies found that participants empathize and sympathize less
with an individual if they perceive him to him as capable of alleviating his own
pain (Hirschberger, 2010), as being responsible for his own suffering (Eisenberg,
1986; Batson & Ahmad, 2001), and as deserving his own suffering (Hen, Fan & Mao,
2008; Batson & Ahmad, 2001). In this painting, the man laying on the foreground is
physically fit and able to ease his own pain and to provide for his basic needs (i.e.
water). His arm is punctured with evident needle wounds from probably self-
Psychological research would predict that the empathy and sympathy experienced
toward the laying man would be minimal or non-
The virtuous form of compassion portrayed in this painting, persists in spite of physical capability, personal faults and past behavior of people at whom it is directed. The perception of another person in pain evokes in some people the affect of personal distress. Personal distress is feeling of discomfort, uneasiness, aggravation, embarrassment, and nervousness in response to seeing another person suffer (Wood, Saltzberg & Goldsamt, 1990). Contrary to empathy, personal distress is egoistic, it focuses on the affects experienced by oneself and it remains indifferent and ignorant of the other person’s suffering (Einsenberg, Schroeder, Fabes, et al., 1988). Research ( Batson, 1987; Eisenberg, Shea, Fabes, et al., 1989; Schroeder, Dovidio, Sibicky, Matthews, & Allen, 1988), found that personal distress most often leads to ignorance, avoidance and inaction in regard to the suffering of the other person. This painting represents both psychological and emotional aspects of personal distress. None of the people in the standing group is looking at the laying man, they all ignore him and indulge in personal distress. Every person in the group above the laying man is expressing a different emotional reaction including shock, outrage, disgust, confusion and aggravation. Their hand gestures and body language are bold.
Evident dominant figures govern the overall sensation of the group, this
phenomena is known as emotional contagion in psychological research (Sonny-
The instance of directional and goal-
This painting features informative, educational and socially constructive content that identifies Marta Sytniewski’s independent Significant Art Theory
Marta Sytniewski's oil paintings are 100% hand painted, they are not computerized and they are not printed. M. Sytniewski’s paintings are authentic 100% artist labor oil paintings.
No reproductions, no limited editions and no copies have been made of this Beautiful 100% ORIGINAL Marta Sytniewski oil painting.
The technical difficulty, advanced skill level, complex detail, intelligent composition,
continuous painting production and education (Trained in art privately, independently
and academically since early childhood. Completed B.A. Psychology with highest honors,
pursuing M.A. Studio Art), talent of Marta Sytniewski and her work, and scarcity
of similar art, combine to valuate Marta Sytniewski's oil paintings as especially
lucrative assets with positive and fast-
Marta Sytniewski paintings, her Significant Art Theory and her signature are protected by International and Federal Copyright and by Trademark Laws. COPYRIGHT © M.SYTNIEWSKI, 2011. All rights reserved.
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