Portraits of the Insane: Theodore Gericault and the Subject of Psychotherapy

Author(s) : Robert Snell

Portraits of the Insane: Theodore Gericault and the Subject of Psychotherapy

Book Details

Reviews and Endorsements

‘The scope of this book is remarkable. Robert Snell’s meditation on five portraits of mad people by Géricault is the springboard for a fascinating cultural investigation. He surveys two centuries of change in the understanding of human nature, and considers how this is reflected in changing approaches to the treatment of madness. The breadth and depth of scholarship on offer here is exceptional, and this admirable book is an object lesson in the relation of psychoanalysis to the history of ideas.’
— Michael Parsons, British Psychoanalytical Society and French Psychoanalytic Association

‘This important book is for anyone interested in how history affects who we are. In a fascinating and rigorous account, Robert Snell shows us the link between emancipatory and repressive forces in ourselves, and such forces in society.’
— Professor Del Loewenthal, Director of the Research Centre for Therapeutic Education, University of Roehampton, London

‘Géricault’s depictions of the insane are among the most compelling images produced during the Romantic era in France. Robert Snell balances art-historical andpsychoanalytic readings in an interplay between biography, intellectual and cultural history, and the history of madness and post-Revolutionary painting. Insightful questions reveal the psychoanalyst’s skilful probing, deftly integrated with keen visual analyses which clarify links between the paintings and their historical matrix. This is an original analysis, in a distinctive and engaging voice.’
— Therese Dolan, Professor of Art History, Temple University, Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, USA

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