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Title: <論文>世紀末ウィーンの芸術における病理学的身体--クリムト的女性像に関する一考察
Other Titles: The Art of Pathological Body in Fin-de-siècle Vienna: A Study of Gustav Klimt's Female Figures
Authors: 古川, 真宏  KAKEN_name
Author's alias: KOGAWA, Masahiro
Issue Date: 30-Mar-2014
Publisher: 京都大学大学院人間・環境学研究科岡田温司研究室
Journal title: ディアファネース -- 芸術と思想
Volume: 1
Start page: 147
End page: 176
Abstract: It is well known that psychiatry at the turn of the 19th century was applied not only to actual patients, but also to collective phenomenon in society and culture. This is especially true in arguments over degeneration, a notable example being Max Nordau's influential book of cultural criticism, Entartung (1892), in which he diagnosed the contemporary tendency of aestheticism as symptoms of hysteria, neurasthenia, and degeneration. However, the psychiatric findings did not just provide the premise for anti-modernists to make a critical attack on modern art, but also offered modern artists and their advocators several motives for creation as well as theoretical frameworks. Accordingly, for both camps, the state of mental or neurotic illnesses came to be regarded as the manifestation of modernity. By acknowledging the rise of concern over psychiatry among artists, this paper examines the case of Gustav Klimt, the prominent painter of Wiener Moderne. The exhibition "Madness and Modernity, " held at the Wellcome Collection in London in 2009, is the first attempt to introduce the general situation of the influences of psychiatry to the field of fine art in Vienna. However, it focused on the works directly related to psychiatry; for example, hospital buildings, portraits of the mentally ill, and so on. It is a fact that Klimt's paintings never indicate the apparent relationship to psychiatry, but abnormally debilitated and voluptuous female figures in his works are comparable to the subject of medical discourse, namely the pathological body. Also, in the scandal over Klimt's faculty paintings for the University of Vienna, the ugliness of his female figures was "pathologized" by rhetorical schemes of medical terminology and ascribed to the painter's "madness." In the Chapter I, I will highlight the pathological features of Klimt's work and illuminate the strategic advocacy for the painter, through analyzing the reviews compiled in the book titled Gegen Klimt (1903) by Hermann Bahr, one of the most enthusiastic critics supporting Klimt. Some opponents of modern art diagnosed the symptoms of hysteria and neurasthenia in Klimt's female figures as Nordau did for contemporary artists. These two illnesses are the main subject not only of pathological clarification, but also of aestheticization for modernists. In that sense, hysteria and neurasthenia are no other than the focal point of both medicine and art. In Chapters II and III, I will discuss how the images of hysteria and neurasthenia were transformed into artistic motives and reflected in Klimt's method of portraying women. Through the above discussion, this paper aims at recapturing fin-de-siècle psychiatric medicine from an artist's perspective, and clarifying that psychiatry functioned as a driving force for the modernization of art.
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