Artistry of the Mentally Ill

Artistry of the Mentally Ill: a contribution to the psychology and psychopathology of configuration (German: Bildnerei der Geisteskranken: ein Beitrag zur Psychologie und Psychopathologie der Gestaltung) is a 1922 book by psychiatrist Hans Prinzhorn, known as the work that 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.

In the book, Prinzhorn presents the works of ten "schizophrenic masters", now housed in Prinzhorn Collection at the University Hospital Heidelberg, with in-depth aesthetic analysis of each and also full-color reproductions of their work. These ten masters were (birth names in parentheses):[1]



  • Hans Prinzhorn, Artistry of the mentally ill: a contribution to the psychology and psychopathology of configuration, translated by Eric von Brockdorff from the second German edition, with an introduction by James L. Foy, (Wien, New York: Springer-Verlag), 1972. ISBN 3-540-05508-8.
  • Prinzhorn collection museum
  • Prinzhorn, Hans. Bildnerei der Geisteskranken (1922), at the University of Heidelberg Digital Library
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