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Open AccessArticle

Braque and Kokoschka: Brain Tissue Injury and Preservation of Artistic Skill

Department of Psychology, University of California at Los Angeles, 405 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
Behav. Sci. 2017, 7(3), 56;
Received: 29 June 2017 / Revised: 16 August 2017 / Accepted: 17 August 2017 / Published: 19 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neuroscience of Art)
PDF [184 KB, uploaded 20 August 2017]


The neural underpinning of art creation can be gleaned following brain injury in professional artists. Any alteration to their artistic productivity, creativity, skills, talent, and genre can help understand the neural underpinning of art expression. Here, two world-renown and influential artists who sustained brain injury in World War I are the focus, namely the French artist Georges Braque and the Austrian artist Oskar Kokoschka. Braque is particularly associated with Cubism, and Kokoschka with Expressionism. Before enlisting, they were already well-known and highly regarded. Both were wounded in the battlefield where they lost consciousness and treated in European hospitals. Braque’s injury was in the left hemisphere while Kokoschka’s was in the right hemisphere. After the injury, Braque did not paint again for nearly a whole year while Kokoschka commenced his artistic works when still undergoing hospital treatment. Their post-injury art retained the same genre as their pre-injury period, and their artistic skills, talent, creativity, and productivity remained unchanged. The quality of their post-injury artworks remained highly regarded and influential. These neurological cases suggest widely distributed and diffuse neural control by the brain in the creation of art. View Full-Text
Keywords: brain and art; neuropsychology and art; brain damage; artists brain and art; neuropsychology and art; brain damage; artists
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Zaidel, D.W. Braque and Kokoschka: Brain Tissue Injury and Preservation of Artistic Skill. Behav. Sci. 2017, 7, 56.

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