Russia, c. 1890 – 1939
From 1930 until 1937 Michail Paule was a patient in a psychiatric hospital of the city of Saratov where he painted his first works. The head of the hospital Professor Hamburg collected the art of his patients and kept them as visual aids for his students. The figurative language of Michail was interpreted as metaphorical: Paule crystallized his suffering in representations of monsters, phantasmagoric creatures following him, the protagonist. Frequently, titles provided an opening to the sensation accompanying a creation of each piece: Solitude, Melancholy, Anxiety, Fear, Terror. Paule associated animalistic creatures with evil forces and their representation could have possibly held exorcist force. In 1937, he was discharged as a patient, but continued frequenting the hospital as a menial worker.