There is an amazing blog, called either ru_medart or something I don’t understand in Russian, that collects artistic depictions of the mad from the history of art.
It’s a wonderful collection of images, and, as you might expect, many of the pictures depict the sort of ‘raving madness’ that was the stereotype of centuries past.
However, it also has portraits of famous people throughout history who have been mad or have been claimed as mad, as well as some more contemporary paintings and some wonderful illustrations of ‘hysterics’ from Charcot’s clinic at the Salp√™tri√®re in Paris.
The only obvious omissions are the paintings of Th√©odore G√©ricault who painted a series of 10 portraits of asylum patients in an attempt to capture the essence of madness, partly based on the belief that it was reflected in the physical features of the body.
The image on the right is of an absolutely stunning piece called ‘Shimmering Madness’ by the American artist Sandy Skoglund, made with jelly beans, wood, plastic, metal and motors. It looks stunning as an image but to see it in all it’s glory you really need to watch the short movie, and believe me, it is amazing.