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Leonardo da Vinci A Psychosexual Study of an Infantile Reminiscence   By: (1856-1939)

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In Sigmund Freud's groundbreaking work, "Leonardo da Vinci: A Psychosexual Study of an Infantile Reminiscence," the renowned psychoanalyst delves into the intricate psychology of one of the world's greatest artists. Freud's examination of Leonardo da Vinci's life, works, and personal writings opens up a fascinating exploration of the artist's psyche—an inquiry that unveils hidden complexities, conflicts, and desires.

Freud employs his psychoanalytic theories and techniques to unravel the enigmatic figures and themes found in Leonardo's artwork. Through meticulous analysis of the artist's writings, letters, and notebooks, Freud uncovers glimpses of da Vinci's challenging childhood, his complicated relationship with his mother, and the repressed desires that may have influenced his artistic expression. Freud's emphasis on the role of sexuality and its impact on human behavior allows him to shed new light on da Vinci's motivations and creative processes.

One particular concept that Freud investigates with great detail is the idea of infantile reminiscence—a psychological phenomenon linked to childhood memories and experiences. He argues that Leonardo's fixation on themes such as maternal figures, androgyny, and eroticism stems from early sensual experiences and unresolved conflicts in his past. From his iconic paintings like the "Mona Lisa" to his anatomical studies, Freud leaves no stone unturned, striving to uncover the deeply rooted sexual undercurrents that may have influenced Leonardo's artistry.

Throughout the book, Freud's writing style remains precise, yet accessible, making his complex theories comprehensible to both scholars and general readers. He intertwines detailed art analysis with psychological interpretations, providing a rich and multifaceted understanding of Leonardo da Vinci as an individual and artist. Furthermore, Freud's careful handling of historical and biographical information showcases his deep appreciation and respect for the iconic genius.

Although some readers may find Freud's theories speculative and subjective, it is undeniable that this psychosexual study offers a fresh perspective on Leonardo da Vinci's art and life. By delving into the intricate depths of the artist's unconscious, Freud invites us to view da Vinci's works through a new lens—a lens that transcends the surface and reveals hidden layers of symbolism and meaning.

"Leonardo da Vinci: A Psychosexual Study of an Infantile Reminiscence" serves as an essential contribution to the fields of art history, psychology, and psychoanalysis. Freud's intellectual curiosity, coupled with his imaginative interpretations, navigates uncharted territories and challenges the traditional notions surrounding Leonardo's artistry. Whether one fully embraces Freud's theories or not, this book undoubtedly sparks thought-provoking discussions and opens up new avenues of exploration for scholars and enthusiasts alike.

First Page:

[Illustration: LEONARDO DA VINCI]

Leonardo da Vinci

A PSYCHOSEXUAL STUDY OF AN INFANTILE REMINISCENCE

BY PROFESSOR DR. SIGMUND FREUD, LL.D. (UNIVERSITY OF VIENNA)

TRANSLATED BY

A. A. BRILL, PH.B., M.D.

Lecturer in Psychoanalysis and Abnormal Psychology, New York University

[Illustration]

NEW YORK MOFFAT, YARD & COMPANY 1916

COPYRIGHT, 1916, BY

MOFFAT, YARD & COMPANY

ILLUSTRATIONS

Leonardo Da Vinci Frontispiece

FACING PAGE

Mona Lisa 78

Saint Anne 86

John the Baptist 94

LEONARDO DA VINCI

I

When psychoanalytic investigation, which usually contents itself with frail human material, approaches the great personages of humanity, it is not impelled to it by motives which are often attributed to it by laymen. It does not strive "to blacken the radiant and to drag the sublime into the mire"; it finds no satisfaction in diminishing the distance between the perfection of the great and the inadequacy of the ordinary objects. But it cannot help finding that everything is worthy of understanding that can be perceived through those prototypes, and it also believes that none is so big as to be ashamed of being subject to the laws which control the normal and morbid actions with the same strictness... Continue reading book >>




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