Robert Indiana's "Love", Indianapolis Museum of Art
After conducting an extensive series of brain-mapping experiments, Semir Zeki, a leading professor of Neurobiology and Neuroaesthetics at University College London has concluded that looking at art is "like being in love". In the same way that "love" and sex reward the brain with pleasure, art triggers the release of dopamine in the orbito-frontal cortex.
"We have recently found that when we look at things we consider to be beautiful, there is increased activity in the pleasure reward centres of the brain. Essentially, the feel-good centres are stimulated, similar to the states of love and desire."
Maybe Tolstoy wasn't that far off. . .