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
SCHUBE PG, COWELL JG. ART OF PSYCHOTIC PERSONS: A RESTRAINT-ACTIVITY INDEX AND ITS RELATION TO DIAGNOSIS. Arch NeurPsych. 1939;41(4):711–720. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1939.02270160067006
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