The Hearts We Draw Look NOTHING Like Our Actual Hearts. So Why Do We Do It?

RealClear Contributor


You probably see a diagram of a heart every time you go to the doctor's office, so you know that the heart symbol looks absolutely nothing like it. So where did the symbol come from, and why do we use it?

Not So Ancient Origins

The heart symbol as we know it today has actually been in use for hundreds of years, and there are several theories about where it came from. Heart-like shapes have been observed on pottery that's thousands of years old, but those symbols are probably meant to depict leaves.

Middle Ages Romance

Early appearances of the heart symbol being used to depict love and romance date to the 14th century, but the heart shape became widely popular during the Renaissance. By the 18th century, it was already associated with Valentine's Day cards and love  notes of all types.

Lots of Heart

Many believe that the heart symbol as we know it came from actual attempts to draw the human heart. Aristotle, the famous philosopher, said the human heart had three chambers and a pointed bottom. Some believe this description inspired the medieval artists who introduced the shape into their artworks. Somehow, that shape caught on...and to this day, we draw hearts the way we do.

And besides, the symbol looks a whole lot better than the real thing. Share this story, and share a little heart with all your friends!



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