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The Cover |

The Madwoman

Janet M. Torpy, MD
JAMA. 2008;300(7):769. doi:10.1001/jama.300.7.769.
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A woman's head and shoulders, simply framed in a dark background, the face twisted in her own dark torment: one imagines the haunting effect of her inner voice in Théodore Gericault's (1791-1824) The Madwoman (cover). Near the end of his short life, Gericault produced a series of portraits for Parisian psychiatrist Étienne-Jean Georget. These works followed Georget's classifications of insanity into monomanias. Five of the ten paintings are in existence today, including The Madwoman (also known as Monomanie de l’envie, or Manic Envy) which hangs at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lyon, France. The others are Monomanie du commandement militaire (Delusion of Military Command), Monomanie du vol des enfants (Kidnapper), Monomanie du Jeu (Gambling Mania), and Monomanie du vol (Kleptomania).

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Théodore Gericault (1791-1824), The Madwoman, circa 1822-1823, French. Oil on canvas. 72 × 58 cm. Courtesy of Musée des Beaux-Arts (http://www.mba-lyon.fr/mba/), Lyon, France. Photo credit: Bridgeman-Giraudon/Art Resource, New York, New York.



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