Art from Dreams

Mother by Susan Levin- 2014. In Art from Dreams: My Jungian Journey in Collage, Assemblage and Poetry
Mother by Susan Levin- 2014. In Art from Dreams: My Jungian Journey in Collage, Assemblage and Poetry

“Instincts can malfunction
become defective, deficient, half-baked
There should be a recipe for motherhood
Exact measurement
The precise amount of ingredients
Or else sweets for no one”
~ Susan Levin

The unconscious, like an artist, takes in discards and fragments of experience. The unconscious digests and cooks these fragments and produces dreams from them. In what may be our deepest soul’s instinct, we take in the raw ingredients of experience and we begin to cook them, to symbolize them, dream them, transform them. The uncooked stuff of life may become ‘symbols of transformation’  (Carl Jung, CW5). Our minds and our souls need the raw stuff of real life, we need the as yet undreamed, the fragmented bits of life and truth, to nourish our souls. The fragments may become the very ingredients of the soul’s transformation.

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The Quaternity in 14th Century French Art

Jean Fouquet, Book of Hours of Étienne Chevalier - 1452-60 Currently at the Musée Condé in Château de Chantilly in France. US Public Domain via wikimedia
Jean Fouquet, Book of Hours of Étienne Chevalier – 1452-60
Currently at the Musée Condé in Château de Chantilly in France. US Public Domain via wikimedia

This image is from the Hours of Étienne Chevalier by Jean Fouquet.  It is one image from Fouquet’s paintings of the book of hours. It was commissioned by king Charles VII of France in the 14 Century.

In this image we see the Quaternity. The three white robbed men share a throne and to the left we see the Virgin on a thrown by herself.  The three white-robed men may be seen as representing the Trinity, and the inclusion of the Virgin (divine mother) creates a Quaternity. Notice also that the painting forms a mandala.

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