Art and the Creative Unconscious: Four Essays

Author(s) : Erich Neumann

Art and the Creative Unconscious: Four Essays

Book Details

  • Publisher : Princeton U.P.
  • Published : 1992
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 256
  • Category :
    Jung and Analytical Psychology
  • Catalogue No : 3603
  • ISBN 13 : 9780691017730
  • ISBN 10 : 0691017735
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Four essays on the relation of the artist to his culture - and to himself - compose this volume by the analytical psychologist Erich Neumann. The archetypes of the collective unconscious, Dr. Neumann says, are intrinsically formless psychic components that assume form in art. The mediums of expression through which they pass, the time and place in which they occur, and above all the psychology of the individual in whom they appear mold their varying forms.

The author illustrates his theme in the first essay, "Leonardo da Vinci and the Mother Archetype." The work of art, and art itself, were for Leonardo not ends in themselves but rather instruments and expressions of his inner situation. Two other essays, on "Art and Time" and on "Creative Man and Transformation" treat of the relations of art to its epoch and specifically of modern art to our own time. Neumann sees the artist as a hero in isolation, whose mission it often is to oppose the cultural canon of his age and so to suffer a tragic loneliness. The problem of form in modern art is linked to the chaos of the modern world and to a fundamental change in man's way of seeking for himself a life of dignity. Dr. Neumann devotes a fourth essay to the modern artist Marc Chagall and his relation to some of the problems discussed in the other studies.

About the Author(s)

Erich Neumann, one of C.G. Jung's pupils, was among the most creative in building on Jung's work and carrying it forward in new explorations and syntheses. Before he met Jung he was trained in philosophy and medicine. He was also a poet and novelist. A native of Germany, he completed his medicinal studies in Berlin but, owing to the activities of the Nazis, left Germany in 1934 and, after studying with Jung in Zurich, emigrated to Tel Aviv. His range of understanding is apparent in his writings of which the major works have been translated into English. These include: The Great Mother; Art and the Creative Unconscious; Depth Psychology and a New Ethic and The Child: Structure and Dynamics of the Nascent Personality.

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