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April 1939

ART OF PSYCHOTIC PERSONS: A RESTRAINT-ACTIVITY INDEX AND ITS RELATION TO DIAGNOSIS

Author Affiliations

BOSTON

From the Division of Creative Therapy, the Boston State Hospital.

Arch NeurPsych. 1939;41(4):711-720. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1939.02270160067006
Abstract

Art expression in a normal person tends to show a balance between activity and restraint in the mental state. This is adequately demonstrated in the paintings of such artists as Sargent, Raphael, Reynolds and Rembrandt. In the drawings of a psychotic person, on the other hand, there is definite evidence of a dominance of either activity or restraint. In many such productions this can be observed immediately; in others it must be sought in situations in which the restraint or activity is concealed or overshadowed by other material. Investigation of this material, moreover, appears to reveal a definite correlation not only between certain types of psychoses and artistic productions but also between the activity or restraint exhibited in a series of productions by a patient and the course of the patient's mental illness. In the division of creative therapy at this hospital we have been investigating these factors for several

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