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Servadio, E. (1951). An Unknown Statuette of Moses. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 32:95-96.

(1951). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 32:95-96

An Unknown Statuette of Moses

Emilio Servadio

Several years ago I had the honour and the pleasure of translating into Italian Professor Freud's essay The Moses of Michelangelo. It had never occurred to me that I myself would find something very important, corroborating Freud's main viewpoints.

It happened as follows. A well-known Roman amateur of art and music reviewer, Dr. L. E. Checchi, found by mere chance a copy of my translation (now completely out of print). Thereupon he wrote to me, hinting that he had something very peculiar to show me with reference to the celebrated statue. What he actually showed me when we met was really breath-taking.

It was the photograph of a statue which looked almost exactly like the Moses, but for the expression of the face—especially the eyes—which was indeed quite different from that which everybody knows. There were also many variations of detail, although on the whole the statue in the photograph resembled the Moses of Michelangelo as a well-executed model must resemble the finished work of art.

In fact, it was a model! So, at least, several prominent artists and sculptors had said—among them the famous Dupré. They had said, that is, that none other but Michelangelo himself could have made such an impressive pièce, which in the photo has the appearance of a gigantic sculptural figure, as everybody can see, although its length is hardly more than 8 inches.

Art critics in general, however, are of a different opinion. They all agree that this statuette is the product of a great sculptor—belonging possibly to the end of the sixteenth century.

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