Freudian aesthetics

Discipline: Art

(20th century)

Psychoanalytical methods and theories of the unconscious formulated by Sigmund Freud were fundamental to the development of aesthetic theory in the early 20th century.

Freud's principle contribution was to highlight the importance of the unconscious in the production and appreciation of art; to relate daydreams and dreams to art and creativity; and to emphasize the correspondences between art and neurosis. The French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan (1901-1981) reinterpreted and developed these ideas.

J J Spector, The Aesthetics of Freud: A Study in Psychoanalysis and Art (London, 1973)


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