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This paper examines the creative practice and product of the visionary artist, the artist who brings forth a new vision of wholeness for the social group. A description of the general creative process is provided according to Jung's view of the transcendent function. It is by this process that a new vision may be understood to arise. The activity and product of the visionary artist is then reified by situating it within an historical conception of the God-image and as a cultural canon. Drawing from Neumann, three phases or roles of the visionary artist are discussed: the establishment of a culture's new vision, the maintaining of the culture's existing vision, and the enduring of the fragmentation of a culture's ‘exhausted’ vision. A more detailed account, including examples, is then given for the role of the visionary artist within the present state of the West's cultural cannon – a state of fragmentation or, as it often known, the wasteland; a time when the spiritual wholeness has broken down. Finally the artist Peter Birkhäuser is briefly discussed to query the role that analytical psychology may explicitly play in supporting the visionary artist.

In: International Journal of Jungian Studies
In: Alternative Educational Futures