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September 24, 1898


JAMA. 1898;XXXI(13):731-734. doi:10.1001/jama.1898.02450130053008

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The recent paretic dementia of Munkaczy, the Hungarian artist, has attracted no little attention to the question of insanity in artists. Prominent among the many contributions to the subject is Arreat's "Pathology of Artists." In this a large number of artists are described as having either acquired or inherited psychoses. What disappears first in insanity is, as Arreat remarks, the power of special inhibition and general control. The mind is free to impulses born of disease. The artist loses judgment of images relative to his art which are then offered to him. Disorder begins in his ideas of painting and is shown in his choice of subjects and defects of harmony in composition. Errors in design come first; technical memory long survives, that is, the mechanical association of visual and motor images. Though the professional memory of an artist be a thing acquired and improved, yet it has roots in

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