This series of lectures will explore the various ways in which the evolving techniques of psychoanalysis have been applied to the study of the visual arts. Examples will range from Freud’s pioneering analyses of the paintings of Leonardo da Vinci, and the sculptures of Michelangelo; to the ground-breaking work of Jacques Lacan, Slavoj Žižek, Julia Kristeva or Parveen Adams.
Questions to be addressed will include the presence of repressed or overt sexuality in art; how traumas within the artist’s own life can find covert expression in the artworks which he or she produces; and how our own psychology, as viewers of paintings or sculptures, influences the ways in which we see, respond to, and interpret those artworks. What can psychoanalysis add to our appreciation of paintings and sculptures? And how can the psychoanalysis of the visual arts contribute to our understanding of the historical eras within which past and present day artists have lived and worked? Artists whose work will be featured include: Rembrandt, Munch, Holbein, Goya, Caravaggio and Damien Hirst.
Each lecture will centre around one particular painting or sculpture: and will seek to understand and explain the ways in which prominent psychoanalysts have analysed and interpreted that artwork. In this way it is hoped that we will come to see and appreciate familiar works of art in new and insightful ways.
Please note: this series of lectures will close to enrolments at 23:59 UTC on 21 January 2024.