Art and Images in Psychiatry |

The Nightmare

James C. Harris, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2004;61(5):439-440. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.61.5.439.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


When Max Eastman visited Sigmund Freud's apartment at Berggasse 19,Vienna, Austria, in 1926, he noticed a print of John Henry Fuseli's (1741-1825) The Nightmare hanging on the wall next to Rembrandt vanRijn's The Anatomy Lesson.1(p15) Freud did not refer to Fuseli's most famous painting in his writing,but his colleague Ernest Jones chose another version of it as the frontispieceof his book On the Nightmare,2 ascholarly study of the origins and significance of the nightmare theme. However,the nightmare did not fit easily into Freud's model of dreams as wish fulfillments.Initially he proposed that nightmares represent superego wishes for punishment;later he suggested that traumatic nightmares represent a repetition compulsion.3(p41) Fuseli's painting provides an opportunityto reexamine how the meaning of the word nightmare hasevolved.

Figures in this Article


Sign In to Access Full Content

Don't have Access?

Register and get free email Table of Contents alerts, saved searches, PowerPoint downloads, CME quizzes, and more

Subscribe for full-text access to content from 1998 forward and a host of useful features

Activate your current subscription (AMA members and current subscribers)

Purchase Online Access to this article for 24 hours

First Page Preview

View Large
First page PDF preview


Place holder to copy figure label and caption

John Henry Fuseli (1741-1825), Swiss-English. Cover: The Nightmare, 1781, oil on canvas; 101 × 124.5 cm. FoundersSociety purchase with funds from Mr and Mrs Bert L. Smokler and Mr and MrsLawrence A. Fleischman. Photograph copyright 1996, Detroit Institute of Arts,Detroit, Mich.

Graphic Jump Location
Place holder to copy figure label and caption
Figure 1.

Fuseli, TheNightmare Leaving Two Sleeping Women, 1810.

Graphic Jump Location
Place holder to copy figure label and caption
Figure 2.

Fuseli, Portraitof a Lady (reverse side of The Nightmare),late 18th century.

Graphic Jump Location




Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).
Submit a Comment


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign In to Access Full Content

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Related Topics