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Issroff, J. (2002). Michaelangelo's Moses Re-visited: Reflections Through Post-Freudian Theoretical Lenses on the Roots of Creativity. Free Associations, 9(2):271-280.

(2002). Free Associations, 9(2):271-280

Michaelangelo's Moses Re-visited: Reflections Through Post-Freudian Theoretical Lenses on the Roots of Creativity

Judith Issroff


The Author Took a fresh and careful look at Michaelangelo's Moses through post-Freudian largely Winnicott-influenced theoretical lenses. These are referred to in the text. Noting the positioning of hands touching the beard and in contact with breast/nipple and penis led to the discovery that the statue can be ‘read’ as a sculpted construction that reveals an unconscious expression of features that touch on contemporary understanding of several of the roots of creativity. The hands and hairs of the beard link head, breast, and genitals, with reminders of infantile oral stage activity, concurrent with adult cognitive—contemplative and genital potency, productivity and creativity simultaneously, along with a hint at the divinely-linked supra-human nature of inspiration and creativity which one may dispute, but can never either prove or disprove. These ‘playful’ speculations about the sculpture and beard as a ‘transitional object’ occur in a transitional area of reverie and communication. This ‘reading’ is quite different from Freud's and other possible perceptions. Clearly comments about any great work of art will reveal as much about the viewer as about the creator.


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