Skip to content

la Salpêtrière

Seeing red

I wanted to begin adding more red to my paintings to express the anger I feel when I read about injustices, and inhumanity. Tomorrow I pick up the book Psychosurgery; intelligence, emotion and social behavior following prefrontal lobotomy for mental disorders by Freeman, Watts, and Hunt. I have also been seeking more information about the authors and found that GWU has their papers: so much more to learn and be angry about.

Patient from La Salpetriere (3)Red

Iconographie photographique de la Salpêtrière.

Iconographie photographique de la Salpêtrière includes the photographs of women in various stages of hysteria, including after such episodes. Julie Mellby’s blog discusses the photographs. I first read about this volume in Medical Muses by Asti Hustvedt. I photographed the images from the copy at Princeton University months ago, but only now feel the need to create paintings from them. This is my first attempt, and I chose this woman’s face because of the pleading look in her eyes.

Patient from La Salpetriere, circa 1876-1877