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Freud, S. (1883). Letter from Sigmund Freud to Martha Bernays, December 20, 1883. Letters of Sigmund Freud 1873-1939, 81-84.

Freud, S. (1883). Letter from Sigmund Freud to Martha Bernays, December 20, 1883. Letters of Sigmund Freud 1873-1939, 81-84

Letter from Sigmund Freud to Martha Bernays, December 20, 1883 Book Information Previous Up Next

Sigmund Freud

Vienna, Wednesday evening
December 20, 1883

My precious darling

In today's quiet I can at last tell you more about Dresden; just the pleasantest of my impressions there have not been mentioned. Right next to the castle we discovered a wonderful cathedral, then a theater, and finally a spacious building-square, with a large courtyard and in each corner a tower, built in the style of our Belvedere1-which Philipp2 seriously insisted must be the castle because it was so beautiful. However it was the so-called Zwinger, which houses all of Dresden's museums and art treasures. At last we found the picture gallery where we spent about an hour, the old boys chiefly to rest themselves, I to bring home with me a few fleeting impressions of these famous works of art. I believe I acquired there a lasting benefit, for until now I have always suspected it to be a silent understanding among people who don't have much to do, to rave about pictures painted by the famous masters. Here I rid myself of this barbaric notion and myself began to admire. There are magnificent things in the Zwinger; some I knew from photographs and reproductions and could point out to the two Englishmen, for instance, the painting by Van Dyck showing the children of the unfortunate Charles I, the later Charles II, James II, and a young, plump little princess. Then I saw the Veronese with the most beautiful heads and bodies, madonnas, martyrs, etc.; I hardly had time to glance at them all. In a small room by itself I discovered what, according to the way it is displayed, must be a gem. Looking closer, I saw it was Holbein's “Madonna.” Do you know this picture? Kneeling in front of the Madonna are several ugly women and an unattractive little girl, to the left a man with a monk's face, holding a boy. The Madonna holds a boy in her arms and gazes down on the worshipers with such a holy expression.

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