"Art is perhaps not the first association which comes up when we think and talk about epilepsy. But this condition, which has accompanied humankind since its earliest times, has a rich cultural history running in parallel with medical history. Cultural reflections of epilepsy can predominantly be found in legislation, religion, literature and, indeed, art. Famous painters like Raphael and Rubens along with many others have taken up the challenge of depicting persons in extreme situations including epileptic seizures.
"Could it be that such paintings that often had religious connotations - including scenes of exorcism - have contributed to the stigma, which is attached to epilepsy in most societies to this day? If this is the case, art may also be a way of counteracting stigma, especially when some individuals with outstanding creative abilities are willing to disclose that they have epilepsy.
"It was an unconventional but widely appreciated decision of the editorial team of Seizure to introduce art related to epilepsy into a scientific journal, even as an eye-catcher on the front page and with a brief biographical note. On this page, we have met patients, some with serious disabilities, who find happiness and pride in their creativity, and others who have become professional artists. Some reflect their experiences with epilepsy in their art, others contribute to the work of epilepsy organizations. We could also discover the artistic accomplishments of some professionals in the field of epilepsy. Some artists without particular relations to epilepsy have also donated their work.
"For the cover art editors is has been a very rewarding experience that everybody who was approached gladly and spontaneously accepted the invitation to contribute and agreed to have their work included in the virtual art gallery which has now come into existence. We thank the artists very much for their generosity and hope that all visitors to this webpage will enjoy meeting them.
- Professor Dr Peter Wolf
Editorial board, Seizure
Neurologist consultant at Danish Epilepsy Centre Filadelfia, Dianalund, Denmark
Guest researcher, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Brasil
Peter & Jytte Wolf Foundation for Epilepsy, Bielefeld, Germany