Schiele's contorted figures
The review of the Wellcome Collection's exhibition "Madness &
Mental Illness and the Visual Arts in Vienna 1900" missed a trick. The
contortions of Schiele's human figures are very unlikely to merely
"grip of mental ailments". Schiele himself suffered from torticollis, a
causing an abnormal posture of the neck (see photograph). Many of his
both of himself and others clearly demonstrate the same abnormality.
until the latter part of the last century dystonia was widely felt to be a
psychological affliction, it is now known to be a neurological disorder,
its cause is still not very well understood.
Competing interests: No competing interests