I attended a lecture recently on the Red Book where the presenter stated that all the artwork in the Red Book was done by Jung himself. I remembered otherwise, but did not remember the reference supporting my contention.

Yesterday I wrote to Judith Harris, President , Philemon Foundation with the following:

Subject: Artwork in Red Book

 I have a question that I'm not sure if the answer is available.   Which color plates in the Red Book were actually painted by Jung and which ones were done by others?
I am aware that Dr. Jung attributed several of them to patients.
Thank you,
Lee Lawrence

She replied:

Dear Lee Lawrence,
Jung painted all the images in The Red Book.
Judith Harris, President, Philemon Foundation

My comment:  On page 136 and 137 of "The Secret of the Golden Flower Commentary" written by Jung in 1930, he included several of the images (ten) included in the Red Book and attributed them to his patients.  He even noted the gender of the patient who did the artwork.  Why the discrepancy?
p 137 "Examples of European Mandelas
The pictures between pages 136 and 137 have been made by patients as described in the text. The earliest picture dates from 1916. All pictures have  been done independently of any Eastern influence.  The I Ching hexagrams in Picture No. 4 come from the reading of Legge's translation in the Sacred Books of the East Series but they were put in the picture only because their content seemed, to the university-trained patient, especially meaningful for her life........  C G Jung"
Anyone else ever find Jung's Red Book artwork elsewhere?  I went to the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City for the unveiling of the original Red Book when Sonu and Jung's Grandson were there.  The original Red Book is entirely a cut and paste scrapbook.  Every page is that way, even the calligraphy text.  Much of the text is copied from Jung's handwritten black notebooks which were also on display at the Rubin.  Did Toni Wolff write the calligraphy text?
Jung's grandson told how the Red Book was available in the house and how he used to pull it off the shelf and sat on the floor with this big book on his lap and look at it when he was young.  It was not kept preserved as a special document.  Jung started this scrapbook when he started his affair with Toni Wolff.  He would spend the afternoons in his office with her, presumably working on the Red Book, demanding that they not be interrupted   He continued working on the Red Book until after reading Richard Wilhelm's "Secret of the Golden Flower" when Jung wrote Wilhelm, pleading with him  in a private letter "Not to die" as "I have finally found what I have been searching for."  This book motivated Jung to enter into alchemy, which caused Toni Wolff to abandon her fourteen year relationship with Jung.  I'm not sure if it was the new focus on alchemy or the abandonment of Wolff that caused Jung to abandon the Red Book as they both happened at approximately the same time.

Had Jung done the Red Book himself, he would have given it the treatment of value he had given to his other documents.  He never intended the book to be published.  He had shared many sections with other people, thus the family knew he did not intend to keep it private.  I question how much of it was actually done by Jung himself!


The book is a great book.  We actually have a limited leather bound first edition as we donated to fund the original publication of the Red Book by the Philemon Foundation.  Please don't allow my comments to diminish the value of the contribution it has made to understanding C G Jung.

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