For De Es Schwertberger, another second generation Visionary, "Reading the story of the universe backwards is our method of reaching the beginning. We encounter all the images which form and direct our wants, needs, and urges imprinted on the core of our mind. We discover pictures there, as if carved from stone, prevailing through time and revealing what powers are holding the world together. If we could read these pictures, our vision would grow clear. We would find ourselves at the bottom of everything - holding it all together."(11)
      In a similar manner, Ernst Fuchs realized that, behind all temperal and cultural manifestations of the Sacred, there lies'ein verschollener Stil' - a 'hidden prime of styles': "A secret art whose traces I have discovered with almost all people and cultures, but also in nature itself - there where the primeval world appears... like a notion, a memory of the submersed culture of a long passed, unmeasured time which preceded history."(12)
      As such, while the history of Visionary Art may be traced throughout different lands, epochs, and cultures, a more ancient, primordial, indeed eternal style of rendering silently underlies all periods of its development. Visionary art seeks to return us, in our visions, to the primordial world that preceded history - like hieroglyphs etched on the walls of a long-lost civilization, leading us to a paradise of lost imagery or forgotten dream-symbols.


      The proper subjects of a Visionary work include: the Creation, Paradise, the Fall, the Flood, the Triumph of Death, the Apocalypse, Heaven and Hell, the after-life journey, illumination, death and rebirth, the hieros gamos, ancient heros, mythic beings, monsters, cyclops and gargoyles, androgynes



and hermaphrodites, madness, dreams, the distant future, the remote past, ideal cities, ancient ruins, lost civilizations, buildings never to be built, buildings built with no purpose but the sheer triumph of architecture over matter, towers, temples, pyramids, all manners of Gods and demons, angels and elementals, the cosmos and its many diagrams, models, and means of representation, the zodiac, the animal world in its primordial state of being, animals imagined as well as real, unicorns, basilisks, chimeras, sphinxes, bizarre but harmonious combinations of existing objects or qualities, melting pocket-watches, burning giraffes, the chance encounter of a sewing machine and an umbrella on a dissecting table, esoterica of all sorts, allegories, false anatomies, fantastic inventions and machines, alchemical retorts, tarot cards, arcane symbols, sacred geometries, light-reflecting jewels, passages, refractions of light, spirals, labyrinths, mandalas, portraits of the artist in light of his memories and dreams, inner landscapes, the interior of the mind and, above all, those invisibles not yet recognizable in our visual language - what Blake called"the Unnam'd forms" (13).
      Visionary art is as ancient as the shaman's first etchings on cavern walls or the mysterious spirals carved on megalithic stones. Our art manifest itself among the Egyptians, Mesopotamians, Minoans, and ancient Greeks. In Middle America, it uprose among the Aztecs, Mayans and Olmecs. Indeed, in these earlier cultures, it acquired an almost 'pure' form of expression, as the depiction of the Creation, the Cosmos and its Gods, the sacred hero and his death and rebirth - all of these appeared spontaneously and alive in a unique cultural style, whose visual language was near-perfect in its expressiveness.
      Each of these cultural styles seemed to emerge 'fully-formed' in history, with a complete symbolic