Artistry of the Mentally Ill

Type: Books

2019 Reprint of 1972 English Language Edition.  Full facsimile of the original edition, not reproduced with Optical Recognition software.  Containing 187 Illustrations, some of which are in color.  Between 1919 and 1921, circulars were sent to psychiatric institutions in German speaking countries by Hans Prinzhorn and Karl Willmanns, then Head of the Psychiatric University Hospital. The artistic works of patients they asked for were destined for the creation of a museum of psychopathological art.

In 1922, Prinzhorn published his richly illustrated Artistry of the Mentally Ill [in German] based on the collection. Received enthusiastically by the art scene of his time, it immediately became “the Bible of the Surrealists”. The book was edited many times and translated into various languages. To this day, it remains a classic.  It launched the field of psychiatric art. It was the first attempt to analyze the drawings of the mentally ill not merely psychologically, but also aesthetically. Prinzhorn presents the works of ten "schizophrenic masters", now housed in the Prinzhorn Collection at the University Hospital Heidelberg, with in-depth aesthetic analysis of each and also full-color reproductions of their work. This is the first and only English translation.