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Why Art and Chocolate Make You Happy

Beautiful art and Magnum chocolate have more in common than you may think. Chocolate releases endorphins in our brain, just like looking at masterpieces. 

Magnum and the Art of Enjoyment

Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring and The Goldfinch by Fabritius are two of the most beautiful paintings in the Mauritshuis, an art museum situated in the heart of The Hague.

Inspired by these masterpieces, Magnum has created two exquisite limited edition Magnum Minis.

But why the link between chocolate, ice cream and art?


The Science of Pleasure-seeking

Pleasure takes many forms.

As Neuropsychologist Professor Dr. Victor Lamme says of the Girl with a Pearl Earring:

"You will be seduced by her gaze and desire flowing from her lips. […] The substance released is called dopamine, the same substance that gives us a happy feeling when we make love, are with loved ones, or for example, eat chocolate. Vermeer has therefore done everything to bring your brain into your correct position for the art of enjoyment."

Indulging in a Magnum does exactly the same thing. One bite into the rich chocolate ignites pleasure sensors.

In short, it makes you feel happy, just like art.

Mind Games

Vermeer was a master of mind games. He played with light, making your brain see things that weren’t there.

Where are the girl’s eyebrows? Where is the line of her nose? The pearl is not even a pearl, your brain just thinks it is.

Neuropsychologist Professor Dr. Victor Lamme played some mind games of his own on our Magnum night at the Mauritshuis. Using state-of-the-art VR headsets, he showed how simply looking or thinking about chocolate makes us happy.

Of course, nothing compares to taking that first bite yourself though...

Dopamine, Chocolate and Art

When we eat chocolate, dopamine is released. It acts as a reward for eating something delicious.

So why does the Girl with a Pearl Earring have the same effect?

Well, colour is important. In the Girl with a Pearl Earring, yellow contrasts with blue, and red with green. Our eyes are most sensitive to contrasting colours, so we feel more pleasure when we look at them. Dopamine is released because of the combination of colour, light and the girl’s gaze.

Seeking maximum pleasure? Combine chocolate and art. 

Magnum: Inspired by Pleasure

Like the paintings of Vermeer and Fabritius, our new Magnum Minis are made for pleasure.

The light reflection used by Vermeer in the Girl with a Pearl Earring inspired our Milk Chocolate & Hazelnut Magnum Mini. Soft hazelnut ice cream, crunchy hazelnut pieces and sumptuous hazelnut sauce dipped in a rich chocolate coating.

The creamy shades of The Goldfinch inspired our White Chocolate & Pistachio Magnum Mini. Luxurious vanilla ice cream, flecks of dark chocolate and pistachio, enveloped in white chocolate.

Maximise pleasure. Indulge in a Magnum while looking at your favourite painting and surrender to pure enjoyment.