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Schön, A. (1991). Lynn Gamwell, Richard Wells (eds). Freud e l'arte. La collezione privata di arte antica. (Italian edition by Simona Argentieri). Introduction by Peter Gay. Il Pensiero Scientifico, Rome 1990, 191 pages, 80.000 lire.. Rivista Psicoanal., 37(2):430-438.

(1991). Rivista di Psicoanalisi, 37(2):430-438

Book Reviews

Lynn Gamwell, Richard Wells (eds). Freud e l'arte. La collezione privata di arte antica. (Italian edition by Simona Argentieri). Introduction by Peter Gay. Il Pensiero Scientifico, Rome 1990, 191 pages, 80.000 lire. Language Translation

Review by:
A. Schön

This book was originally conceived as a catalogue to complement an exhibition of over two thousand objets d'art collected by Freud, which was organised in 1989 by the State University of New York in collaboration with the Freud Museum in London. The book contains perfect photographic reproductions of about a hundred statuettes, various vases and some glasses, which though they were the products of various cultures — Egyptian, Mycenean, Attic, Campanian, Roman, Chinese and Japanese — all found their way to Vienna.

Now that I have introduced the book (introduced the object) I would ask readers to be so kind as to accompany me on a nonsystematic exploration of this remarkable work, which, as we shall see, is capable of stimulating much discussion. As soon as I had flicked through the first glossy pages, I immediately thought: I have always dreamed of Freud as he had been shown to me — in black and white, and yet it is all right, it is even orthodox, to dream of him in colour! At first, like the Wolf Man before me, I felt most attracted by the dormeuse, covered with rugs and soft velvet cushions. Then, while admiring the splendid reproductions, I noticed that the Master had collected a fair number of Sphynxes, Oedipuses, Eroses, and Arthemideses, as if to illustrate his thought and works. Such sensitivity to beauty, even to manifest beauty!

This book is not only for looking at. Historians, men of letters, historians of art and an analyst, Martin Bergmann, all made some contribution. The first thing I did was to read Bergmann's article. Just as when one enters a room one has never been in before, I sought out a familiar face, but perhaps that was not such a good idea.

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