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I was much interested by Allan Beveridge's article1 (November 2001 JRSM) and consider his conclusions to be wise. Figure 1 reproduces a painting done by one of my patients in the course of a mental illness. When a student at a local university he developed a psychological illness which colleagues and I diagnosed as schizophrenia, albeit not severe; there was no aggression or ill-feeling towards friends or neighbours. Unfortunately he later died of a perforated gastric ulcer, and the picture was given to me by the family. It depicts a rough scene in some seaside bay, but the patient's father could not recall any visit to such a scene. Colleagues have agreed with me that it illustrates turmoil of mind.
Dr Beveridge's remarks on the disquieting feeling of strangeness perhaps apply also to other arts such as music. As an organist I feel that music can offer similar glimpses into the mind of the composer.