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Art and Images in Psychiatry
May 2014

Girl With Cat and Young Girl at the WindowBalthus

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Neuropsychiatry, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
JAMA Psychiatry. 2014;71(5):478-479. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2013.2729

To raise oneself up toward beauty, and supplant grief and suffering by rediscovering childhood innocence. [To] create sacred work because it’s a way out of chaos.


To paint is not to represent, but to penetrate, to go to the heart of the secret, to work in a way to reflect the interior image. The painter is also a mirror; he reflects the mind, the line of interior light.…[and] project[s] himself toward [the dark unbreakable core] to draw from it the true identity of the person portrayed.

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