One of the earliest to integrate psychology with art history was Heinrich Wölfflin (1864–1945), a Swiss art critic and historian, whose dissertation Prolegomena zu einer Psychologie der Architektur (1886) attempted to show that architecture could be understood from a purely psychological (as opposed to a historical-progressivist) point of view.
Another important figure in the development of art psychology was Wilhelm Worringer, who provided some of the earliest theoretical justification for expressionist art.
According to Bosanquet (1892), the "aesthetic attitude" is important in viewing art because it allows one to consider an object with ready interest to see what it suggests.
However, art does not evoke an aesthetic experience unless the viewer is willing and open to it.
Numerous artists in the twentieth century began to be influenced by the psychological argument, including Naum Gabo, Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, and somewhat Josef Albers and György Kepes.
The French adventurer and film theorist André Malraux was also interested in the topic and wrote the book La Psychologie de l'Art (1947-9) later revised and republished as The Voices of Silence.
The growth of art psychology between 19 also coincided with the expansion of art history and museum programs.
The popularity of Gestalt psychology in the 1950s added further weight to the discipline.
Patricia Dinkelaker and John Fudjack have addressed the relationship between artists’ personality types and works of art; approaches to art as a reflection of functional preferences associated with personality type; and the function of art in society in light of personality theory.
Art is considered to be a subjective field, in which one composes and views artwork in unique ways that reflect one's experience, knowledge, preference, and emotions.