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Portrait of a Life : Melanie Klein and the Artists
Amos, Roger
Phoenix Publishing House / Hardcover / 2019-08-01 / 1912691418
price: $51.95
154 pages
In Stock (Ships within one business day)

Melanie Klein is one of the founding figures of psychoanalysis. In her lifetime, she was a controversial and powerful figure and her legacy has spread worldwide.

Here is a comprehensive review of the many attempts to portray this elusive and complex woman, including the work of painters, sculptors, and portrait photographers. Its genesis was an article commissioned by the Melanie Klein Trust after a pair of delicate low relief sculptures of Klein by Oscar Nemon were re-discovered after eighty years in hiding. During his research, Roger Amos uncovered much material on depictions of Klein, including the fact that she had destroyed two significant works of art: a bust, also by Nemon, and a portrait by William Coldstream. What had driven her to destroy these representations of herself? Why did others survive? The complex and interrelated reasons are identified and discussed alongside the history of each artistic project, locating them in a narrative of Klein's life. Through an understanding of the subject/artist relationship, Amos illuminates Klein's professional life in a new, intriguing, and enjoyable approach.

A must-read for all scholars and professionals in the fields of psychoanalysis and portraiture, plus those with an interest in Melanie Klein or aesthetics.


Roger Amos has written and illustrated a fascinating work on the relationships between Melanie Klein and the artists who portrayed her. This book sheds important new light on her character and also on those of the photographers and artists.
—John Steiner, Treasurer of the Melanie Klein Trust

At the heart of Roger Amos' work is a haunting question: Why did Melanie Klein destroy two works of art created of her, a bust by Oscar Nemon and a painting by William Coldstream? Amos addresses this question with in-depth research and an artist's intuitive grasp of mood, tone, and emotional resonance. The reader will be rewarded with a compassionate insight into a complex personality.
—Donald Campbell, past President of the British Psychoanalytical Society

Table of Contents:

About the author

List of Figures


Chapter 1: Early Life - Childhood and Adolescence, Vienna 1882 to 1902

Chapter 2: Married Life, Budapest 1903 to 1914

Chapter 3: The Unrecorded Decade, Budapest and Berlin 1915 to 1925

Chapter 4: Middle Years - Life in London 1926 to 1950

Chapter 5: Melanie Klein and Oscar Nemon 1939

Chapter 6: Later Life in London - 1950 to 1960

Chapter 7: Melanie Klein and William Coldstream 1952



About the Author:

Roger Amos is a retired doctor, in a previous life a haematologist working in the NHS in east London. His wife, Anne, is a psychoanalyst and a member of the British Psychoanalytical Society. He has lived on the fringes of the analytic world for many years, where Melanie Klein has been an abiding presence. His book has been an opportunity to get to know her better.

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