The Best Depression Drawing and Art from World History

Depression drawings and art from world history show us that depression has always been part of humanity. Here is some of the best depression art through time.

Depression drawings serve a high purpose. Depression art offers a sense of connection, and the gift of understanding—of understanding yourself at a level beyond words, and being understood by someone else, another person dealing with something similar and reaching out through art. Together, let’s view just a small sampling of depression drawings and art and experience the depths of depression as expressed by artists living before us and among us now.

Depression alters someone’s life, pulling them away from people, activities, and the true sense of themselves. As a result, people living with major depression often feel wholly isolated and alone; this, in turn, makes them feel that they are the only ones tortured by this illness and that no one understands the despair. That, though, is an illusion. In truth, as long as there has been humanity, there has been depression.

From History and Today, Depression Drawings and Art Reach Us

We know this through writings and texts from early civilizations (the ancient Greeks, for example, wrote medical and philosophical texts about melancholia, the affliction we now call major depressive disorder. We know this, too, by studying works of art that reach from the past to gift us with a message: Depression happens not because you are a bad person, but because you are a human being.

Art can show what words sometimes fail to tell. Words convey the thoughts of depression. Art expresses the emotions. Color, lines, patterns, form, and media show, rather than tell, that your depression is real, not made up or in your head and that you’re not in this alone.

Pause and Take In the Emotional Messages of People’s Depression Art

These are but a tiny handful of depression art from world history and today. These are meant to show the experience of depression without reducing it to words; therefore, each work below will stand alone without being reduced to verbal explanations. Together, they are powerful in how they make elusive concepts understood:

  • The invisible torment in the mind
  • Feelings of anguish, agony
  • Living small, trapped in one’s own mind
  • Living a life separate from life itself

Without further ado, experience this sampling of depression art and drawings from world history and today.

  • Bust from Mohenjo-Daro (India) ca. 2400-2000 BCE

  • The Purification of Orestes, ca. 400 BCE

  • Melancholia by Albrecht Durer, 1514

  • The Temptation of St. Anthony by Matthias Grunewald, 1512- 6

  • The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters by Francisco Goya y Lucientes, 1799

  • Emotional Drawing by me #sad #emotion #depression #feelings #art #drawings by Robert Carter, present day

  • Falling: Emerge by Clara Lieu, present day

  • Overthinking by Robert Carter, present day

  • Psychotic Depression by Destiny Blue, present day

  • Stay Here by Haenuli Shin, present day

Art is powerful, and it is not exclusively for professional artists. Depression art and drawings belong to all of us, just as depression potentially belongs to all of us. Both are deep aspects of the human condition.

You can produce your own art about your experience with depression. Bypass words and thoughts. How do you feel? One of the many beautiful things about art is that it can be to share with the world, or it can be entirely private, for just you. Either way, if you are feeling stuck and having a hard time understanding what you’re experiencing, create depression drawings or art of your own.

article references

APA Reference
Peterson, T. (2022, January 4). The Best Depression Drawing and Art from World History, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 21 from

Last Updated: January 11, 2022

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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