In this account of Herbert Rosenfeld's work I hope I can explain why he was not only a pioneer and innovator in a number of vital theoretical areas, but also in some ways one of the ®nest analysts and clinical teachers we have known. From his ®rst paper in 1946 until his death forty years later he worked and wrote with astonishing energy and he left behind a formidable body of work. I think of the period 1946±78 as his classic period during which he became a recognised authority on the treatment of psychotic states by psychoanalysis. He showed that a psychotic transference can be observed and analysed and with Bion (1956, 1957, 1959), and Segal (1950, 1956), he created an atmosphere of initiative and experimentation in which a new understanding of psychosis could develop without requiring a change in the setting or in the analytic attitude towards patients. This area of his work is well known but I think his contribution to the treatment of less ill patients, particularly his work on schizoid states and on narcissism, his clinical insight, and his development of theory to support and sustain his analytic technique are not as recognised as they should be.