This article traces the historical relation of heartbeats, science and art. It begins with an outline of historical ideas and science concerning the heart and the arterial pulse that will give better understanding of the intimate relation and differences between both and how early studies of the heart led to the discovery of the pulse and to the early relationship between heartbeats and art. Secondly, it tracks through history the particular interest of artists in making the pulse visible. Devices linked to bodies serve as mediators in artworks that project body mechanisms beyond corporeal limits. The works discussed project heartbeats as metaphors of emotions and life in installations that involve multiple senses.