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Kubin+AJP+2009 - Images in Psychiatry Alfred Kubin 18771959...

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Am J Psychiatry 166:5 May, 2009 529 Images in Psychiatry ajp.psychiatryonline.org Alfred Kubin, 1877–1959 A lfred Kubin is increasingly recognized as one of the most gifted graphic artists of the early 20th century. His many draw- ings, mostly of modest size and in pen and ink, are meticulously executed and are distinguished by their bizarre, mysterious, erotic, often sadomasochistic imagery. Clearly influenced by the work of such earlier masters as Goya, Hieronymus Bosch, and Max Klinger, they anticipate that of the Surrealists in their use of themes drawn from what appear to be unconscious sources. In his autobiography Kubin described a profoundly traumatic childhood (1). His father, a traveling land surveyor, did not appear in his life until he was 2 years old, and Alfred saw him as an un- wanted interloper. When Alfred was 10 his beloved mother died, and his father soon was remarried to her sister, who in turn died a year later. A large and powerful man, his father was contemptu-
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