“When the eye tired of observing rests”: Diffuse Attention in the Art and Writing of Medardo Rosso

  • Sharon Hecker
Keywords: rosso, creativity, janet


This essay considers the possibility that in his indistinct-looking artworks, Medardo Rosso try to convey his experience of his creative process as not grounded in a moment of focused attention, but rather as a release into a more diffuse state of mind. I contend that this process of arriving at diffuse attention can best be understood through Rosso’s idiosyncratic writings, hitherto unexplored. A correlation may be made between his writing practice and the theories of his contemporary, the French philosopher, psychologist, and neurologist Pierre Janet.