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Erna Schilling (Sick Woman, Lady With Hat)

Philip Sefton
JAMA. 2008;300(18):2099. doi:10.1001/jama.2008.586.
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Fear. Anger. Loss. Three emotions commonly experienced by persons coping with the ravages of grave illness. To these might well be added loneliness: all too often, the ill must make their way alone as others, in their own discomfort with illness, pull away or—perhaps unconsciously but no less devastatingly—place heavy expectations on them to maintain the appearance of health. Rendered unable to share the emotions that have come to occupy a central place in their lives, the ill sometimes find themselves alone in their misery, yearning to express to someone—anyone—the peaks and chasms of their inner state.

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Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938), Erna Schilling (Sick Woman, Lady With Hat), 1913, German. Oil on canvas. 71.5 × 60.5 cm. Courtesy of Galerie Henze-Ketterer, Wichtrach/Bern, Switzerland (http://www.henze-ketterer.ch); commonly owned by the Friends of the Nationalgalerie and the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany; photo credit: Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz/Art Resource, New York, New York. Copyright by Ingeborg and Dr Wolfgang Henze-Ketterer, Wichtrach/Bern.



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