Art and Images in Psychiatry |

Come Unto These Yellow Sands

James C. Harris, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2012;69(3):218-219. doi:10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2011.2078.
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Come Unto These Yellow Sands was the last painting Richard Dadd (1817-1886) completed before leaving on the fateful Grand Tour of Europe and the Middle East that culminated in his mental illness, which led to patricide.2 Because of his exceptional talent and recognition for his imaginative paintings (cover), Dadd was chosen to accompany Sir Thomas Philips on a 10-month Grand Tour to record their travels. Soon after their departure, it was evident that Dadd found it difficult to keep up with Philips' rapid schedule. He was overwhelmed by the pace and the long rides on horseback in the Middle East as they traveled from place to place. Dadd had little time to draw and could not do so on horseback. Moreover, he was overstimulated by the exotic locations, sights, and sounds, finding it difficult to decide what to draw. Some believe that his difficulty choosing subjects and focusing his attention may have been a prodrome to his subsequent psychosis.


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