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Abraham, K. (1937). Giovanni Segantini a Psychoanalytic Essay. Psychoanal Q., 6:453-512.

(1937). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 6:453-512

Giovanni Segantini a Psychoanalytic Essay

Karl Abraham

We possess a number of small sketches and a large biographical work by Franz Servaes of the life and art of Giovanni Segantini. It has appeared in the monumental Segantini Edition, published by the Austrian Government, as well as in a popular edition. Servaes gives us in every way an excellent description of Segantini, the artist as well as the man; therefore it is not our intention in this essay to try to surpass the portraiture of this author. We look for problems of another kind: it is not our aim to describe once more the peculiarities of Segantini, but to explain them psychologically.

The psychoanalytic researches of Freud and his school throw a new light on the typical and individual phenomena of the life of the mind. From these researches in the unconscious we are able to deduce important disclosures about the laws governing artistic creation. One of the later works of Freud entitled, A Childhood Remembrance of Leonardo da Vinci, has, apart from its other values, yielded important insight into the artistic individuality of this master. On the other hand, no one has yet undertaken the consideration of the whole life and psychic individuality of a creative artist from the point of view of the psychoanalyst, or to show in his art the effect of the unconscious. Among the creative artists of our time Giovanni Segantini stands out as a powerful independent personality.

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