The Interplay Between Brain Lesions and Painter´s Creative Transformations




This narrative review addresses the complex relationship between neurological diseases and artistic expression, which can have a profound impact on a painter´s works. This exploration highlights the dynamic and ever-evolving connection between neuroscience and art, offering insights into the extraordinary ways in which the human brain and artistic expression intersect and evolve. Following brain damage, there may be the emergence of sudden artistic talents, intriguing changes in the styles of established artists, the paradoxical facilitation of artistic abilities despite the cognitive decline consequent to these injuries, besides coping strategies that artists adopt in response to the challenges of health. Therefore, this article investigates different scenarios where brain injuries and disorders have had a profound impact on artists, leading to the emergence of new talents, changes in artistic styles, and unexpected improvements in their work, as well as adaptations in their artistic practices, as represented by some painters such as Tommy McHugh (1949 -2012), Francisco Goya (1746-1828), Otto Dix (1891-1969), Willem de Kooning (1904-1997), William Charles Utermohlen (1933-2007) and Charles Meryon (1821-1868). Consequently, works of art can be valuable but understudied tools for understanding brain dysfunction, although they must be interpreted with great care.