Legend, Myth, and Magic in the Image of the Artist

A Historical Experiment

Ernst Kris and Otto Kurz; Preface by E. H. Gombrich

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September 10, 1981
176 pages, 5 x 8
ISBN: 9780300026696
Paper

“This is the first English translation of a brief, scholarly, and brilliantly original work which sets out to examine the links between the legend of the artist, in all cultures, and what E.H. Gombrich, in an introductory essay, calls ‘certain invariant traits of the human psyche.’”—Denis Thomas, Journal of the Royal Society of Arts
“This book gathers together various legends and attitudes about artists, ancient and modern, East and West, and gives fascinating insights into attitudes toward artistic creation.  It impinges on psychology, art history and history, aesthetics, biography, myth and magic, and will be of great interest to a wide audience in many fields…. A delightful and unrivalled study.”—Howard Hibbard
“Thought provoking and valuable…. To all those interested in psychiatry and art from the perspectives of history, criticism, or therapy and to the wide audience concerned with the psychology of aesthetics and of artistic creation.”—Albert Rothenberg, American Journal of Psychiatry
Ernst Kris was a psychoanalyst who wrote on a wide variety of subjects, including art.  Otto Kurz was librarian of the Warburg Institute in London.

Ernst Kris was a psychoanalyst who wrote on a wide variety of subjects, including art.  Otto Kurz was librarian of the Warburg Institute in London.

“This is the first English translation of a brief, scholarly, and brilliantly original work which sets out to examine the links between the legend of the artist, in all cultures, and what E.H. Gombrich, in an introductory essay, calls ‘certain invariant traits of the human psyche.’”—Denis Thomas, Journal of the Royal Society of Arts

 

“This book gathers together various legends and attitudes about artists, ancient and modern, East and West, and gives fascinating insights into attitudes toward artistic creation.  It impinges on psychology, art history and history, aesthetics, biography, myth and magic, and will be of great interest to a wide audience in many fields…. A delightful and unrivalled study.”—Howard Hibbard

 

“Thought provoking and valuable…. To all those interested in psychiatry and art from the perspectives of history, criticism, or therapy and to the wide audience concerned with the psychology of aesthetics and of artistic creation.”—Albert Rothenberg, American Journal of Psychiatry

"This slender volume, published in German in 1934 and now in English for the first time, is not only a significant contribution to the history and social-psychology of art, but  also a fascinating piece of historical analysis with a mild psychoanalytic bent. . . . The book is a fine example of collaboration between a psychoanalyst and a historian. . . . What the authors show convincingly and with both economy and grace, is that our nineteenth and twentieth century conceptions of the 'creative genius,' the 'bohemian,' etc., have their roots in the traditional stories and these in turn are connected to general psychic phenomena. . . . [It] is a work that brings its wealth of material and ideas together in such a stimulating fashion that it has the reader scribbling notes and reflections in the margins."—Larry Shiner, Psychoanalytic Review
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