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Art, Artists, and Madness

In his writing from the first century, Seneca quoted Aristotle as saying, “No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness,” linking creativity and mental condition. Since then, this connection has been explored from many perspectives. In this course, we will discover various psychological approaches to art and artists throughout history, from art therapy to neuroaesthetics (the study of how humans process beauty and art) via psychoanalysis and the development of art brut, or “outsider art,” in psychiatric hospitals. We also will study the psychology of three iconic artists—Vincent van Gogh, Camille Claudel, and Pablo Picasso—and discuss how they explored and expressed themselves through their art.

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You'll Walk Away with

  • An understanding of the relationships between creativity and psychology
  • The ability to approach art from a psychological perspective

Ideal for

  • All members of the community—working, retired, and in-between
  • Those interested in psychology, as well as those interested in art and art history
NO open sections available for this course at the moment. Please check back next semester.