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The RED BOOK Limited Edition Fine Art Prints Catalog

Introduction | 5 The material went through a number of drafts, and was then recopied by Jung in an ornate gothic script into a large red leather folio volume, to which he added historiated initials, ornamental borders and a substantial number of paintings. The work was mod- eled after the illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages. The ensemble of text and image strongly recalls the illuminated works of William Blake. Initially, Jung painted the “the im- ages that emerged through reliving” the fantasies as he transcribed them, and the images depicted scenes in them. As time went on, the images were connected to subsequent active imaginations in the Black Books, or indeed, could be considered as active imaginations in their own right, continuing where the text left off. These paintings evidence striking ability. In his youth, Jung had been drawn to the works of Holbein, Böcklin, and the Dutch painters of the 17th century. He took up paint- ing towards the end of his studies, and his early landscapes show fine technical profi- ciency. While he was in Paris in 1902-3 he devoted much time to painting and visiting museums. From then onwards, he was preoccupied with his professional career. Whilst transcribing the text of Liber Novus, Jung recommenced painting in a full-blown abstract and semi-figurative manner. Jung maintained a classical nineteenth-century conception of art. During the First World War, there were close contacts between Jung’s circle and avant-garde artists in Zürich such as Augusto Giacometti and the Dadaists, including Hans Arp. Paradoxically, it was Jung’s distance from a nineteenth-century aesthetic and his drawing upon non-European sources that brought his creative work into proximity with the European avant-garde. Jung eschewed viewing his own work as art: seeing them rather them as expressions of a spontaneous symbol-making capacity which was innate in everyone. He maintained that it was only in symbols that rational and irrational truths were united. He encouraged his patients to create similar symbolic expressions as they could have a therapeutic and integrative function. Professor Sonu Shamdasani UCL Centre for the History of Psychological Disciplines, London

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