Adolf Schudel (1869–1918)

Schudel worked as a retoucher and photographer in Reutlingen and also lived in Paris for some time. After the death of his father he took care of his mother and five siblings. In 1897, he attempted suicide at a hotel in Basel and was taken to Schaffhausen Clinic. Two years later he was released and returned to his family.

In 1907, after beating his mother, Schudel was taken to a hospital for a second time. He had phobias of poisoned food, suffered from fatigue and tried to escape from the institution several times. He also heard voices and had visions of his father’s resurrection as well as snakes and monsters.

At the mental hospital, he first began copying, then drawing and writing. This “calmed him more efficiently than long water treatments.” The medical history mentions ten of his works, three of which now belong to the Prinzhorn Collection in Heidelberg. The carefully numbered works appear to have been part of a planned series. Schudel died of heart failure in 1918 at Breitenau Mental Hospital.