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Artists with Mental Illness List Will Shock You: Pictures Drawn by Mentally Ill

30.06.2021
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symbols of depression in art

Wow! And create masterpieces. We are talking about famous artists with mental illness, to whom fate was merciless, but in return gave something valuable. And this is not at all a certificate from the relevant institution. How can people of art, despite their spiritual differences and restrictions on freedom, give the world amazing works?

“If you have not yet been diagnosed, it does not mean that you are not sick,” the doctors joke. A similar statement applies to any field of medicine, and in principle, there can be no question of complete mental health. The expression “mentally healthy” is relative: too often deviations from the norm are stated, the boundaries of which are not quite clearly delineated. The fact that most artists suffer from mental disorders, of course, is beyond doubt, but the fact that their psyche is often on the verge of collapse is beyond doubt. It can be assumed that the healthier a person is from the point of view of a psychiatrist or psychotherapist, the fewer chances he has to create a masterpiece of art.

There are studies showing some relationship between creativity and mental health issues. For example, bipolar disorder (manic-depressive psychosis) is very often recorded in depressed artists, including world-famous ones. Creative people are endowed with a rich imagination, non-standard perception of reality, a tendency to experiment with various kinds of psychostimulant substances – all this can contribute to the development of mental disorders.

Artists with Mental Illness List

Mental illness is a terrible disease. One has only once to see patients in a psychiatric hospital, and the desire to be ironic about this disappears forever. Artists with mental illness are often characterized by: overestimated self-esteem, awareness of the grandeur of their plans, mood swings (depressive, apathetic state, alternating with psychological and creative upsurge). These symptoms fit the aforementioned diagnosis of manic-depressive psychosis.

Most of the pictures drawn by the mentally ill are gloomy, hard-to-perceive images, they breathe the horror of existence from them. The hidden places of the sick soul, embodied in the drawing, amaze with inhuman suffering and hopelessness. Hence, the dark, thick, oppressive colors, frequent symbols of death (crosses, graves, skulls, crows), motives of loneliness, fear of hallucinations, themes of suicide. And even in the creations created during the bright period of illness, the themes of hope and peace are often conveyed with some unrealizable, sad subtext, as if the wound caused by a mental disorder is too deep to heal without a trace.

Pictures of people with professional artistic skills are especially interesting. If you multiply your real skill by symbols of depression in art, you can get a decent work of art. So you can find paintings that resemble world masterpieces that have received public recognition and are worth fabulous money.

For example, artists such as Edvard Munch, Emile Nolde (expressionism), Pablo Picasso, Fernand Leger (cubism), Edgar Degas, Vincent Van Gogh (impressionism/post-impressionism), Salvador Dalí, Rene Magritte (surrealism), Mikhail Vrubel (symbolic modernism ).

By the way, some of these great artists officially suffered from mental disorder in art, but fortunately, this did not stop them from contributing to the world of art.

Now we will introduce you to some of them:

Edvard Munch Mental Illness

artists with mental illness

The brilliant Norwegian expressionist Edvard Munch (he became one of the first representatives of this trend) was worried about the issues of death, loneliness, being all his life. Probably, heredity and the atmosphere in the family were not the last factors due to which depression and art developed in the artist towards the end of his life. His father was morbidly religious, and his passionate sermons made young Edward suffer from nightmares. One sister Sophie, with whom the artist was especially close, died early, and the second, Laura, was eventually diagnosed with schizophrenia. The death of his father caused a prolonged depression in the artist, exacerbated by a painful romance with the eccentric Tulla Larsen.

At the turn of the century, Munch experienced many severe nervous breakdowns, he became suspiciously paranoid, suspecting everyone of conspiracies and intrigues under construction. By 1908, his condition had deteriorated so much that he was admitted to a clinic in Copenhagen with a mental breakdown, where he spent six months. True, this did not in the least affect his creative activity – even during treatment, he worked on his paintings. It also includes Picasso’s mental illness.

Van Gogh

depression and art

Probably the first name of contemporary artists with mental illness is Vincent Willem van, Gogh. His difficult life, including the fight against illness, is beautifully described in his book “Lust for Life” by Irving Stone. Van Gogh lived only 37 years (committed suicide), but what a legacy he left to the world – more than 2000 paintings: bright, original, colorful. Van Gogh received recognition after his death – poverty and deprivation accompanied him all his life, and only his devoted brother Theo never deprived the genius of his support.

Louis Wayne

crazy artists

The famous artist from England Louis Wayne was remembered for his extraordinary insanity artwork. He is called the main “preacher” of Victorian fairy painting. Wayne grew up and spent almost his entire life with 5 sisters, none of whom married, and the youngest was declared insane and sent to a mental hospital. Wayne worked as a freelance artist (drawings by people with mental illness), especially in rural landscapes and animal pictures.

Cats served him as an inexhaustible source of inspiration, and his wife’s cat, Peter, according to Louis himself, is credited with becoming artists with schizophrenia. Wayne illustrated magazines, children’s books, postcards, which became especially popular. Moreover, his illustrations of cats and animals were often satire or parodies of people. Wayne had “fame” as a person all his life, but over the years, eccentricity turned into a serious disorder: he was diagnosed with schizophrenia.

He suffered from hallucinations, persecution mania, suspected sisters, became aggressive crazy artists. He was admitted to a clinic with a garden and nursery for cats, so Wayne spent his last years there comfortably. In addition, he continued to paint with a preference for complex abstract patterns. Louis Wayne died in 1939 and his paintings in the 90s. From the last century, they have regained great popularity and are quite expensive.

Francisco Goya

insanity artwork

Many canvases of the Goya Depression of the era of romanticism are distinguished by eerie images, frightening facial expressions, and plots, from which it blows cold. There are reasons for this. In addition to the fact that Francisco Goya was deaf in one ear, his limbs were regularly paralyzed. The artist suffered from headaches and hallucinations. The fact is that he suffered from Susak’s syndrome.

This is an autoimmune disease of famous depressed artists – the immune system begins to destroy the tissues of the body on its own. A blow to the brain – hence the listed symptoms. Goya did not stop painting.

He created 80 works of famous depressing paintings, where the main characters are mystical, supernatural and, frankly, terrible images. Ghosts, witches, and demons – creatures from his nightmares – that’s what the artist portrayed. Nevertheless, even contemporaries did not take these canvases for the delirium of a patient. Someone found in them a satire on the then society, someone saw a different meaning.

Lee Hadwin

mental disorder art

Which painter struggled with mental illness Lee Hadwin is our contemporary. He is originally from the UK, where there is one person with somnambulism in every 50 adults. Simply put, a famous artist’s schizophrenia lunatic performs different actions in a dream, and the next morning he may not even remember about it. This is not uncommon in childhood, but usually, people outgrow it. Not Lee Hadwin. During somnambulistic attacks, he paints pictures that are sold for huge sums. Moreover, there are many realistic portraits among his works. It is curious that when a man is alert and conscious, he cannot create artistic masterpieces – he simply cannot
Now you have learned little information about drawings made by people with mental illness and many other facts from their lives.

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