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(1951). Untranslated Freud—(11) 'Postscript to my Paper on the Moses of Michelangelo' (1927). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 32:94-94.
(1951). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 32:94-94
Untranslated Freud—(11) 'Postscript to my Paper on the Moses of Michelangelo' (1927)
Several years after the publication of my paper on the Moses of Michelangelo, which appeared anonymously in Imago in 1914 (Collected Papers, 4, 257), Dr. Ernest Jones very kindly sent me a copy of the April number of the Burlington Magazine of 1921 (Vol. XXXVIII), which could not fail to turn my interest once more to the interpretation of the statue which I had originally suggested. This number contains (pp. 157-166) a short article by H. P. Mitchell on two bronzes, of the twelfth century, now in the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford, which are attributed to an outstanding artist of that day, Nicholas of Verdun. We possess other works by the same hand in Tournay, Arras and Klosterneuburg, near Vienna; his masterpiece is considered to be the Shrine of the Three Kings in Cologne.
One of the two statuettes described by Mitchell, which is just over 9 inches high, is identifiable beyond all doubt as a Moses, because of the two Tables of the Law which he holds in his hand. This Moses, too, is represented as seated, enveloped in a flowing robe. His face is expressive of strong passion, mixed, perhaps, with grief; and his hand grasps his long beard and presses its strands between palm and thumb as in a vice. He is, that is to say, making the very gesture which I postulated in Fig. 2 of my former paper as a preliminary stage of the attitude into which Michelangelo has cast him.
A glance at the accompanying illustration will show the main difference between the two compositions, which are separated from each other by an interval of more than three centuries.
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