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Sigmund Freud and Michelangelo's Moses : Image-description for Neuroanatomy and Art Criticism

  • The Journal of Aesthetics and Science of Art
  • Abbr : JASA
  • 2010, 32(), pp.63-100
  • Publisher : 한국미학예술학회
  • Research Area : Arts and Kinesiology > Other Arts and Kinesiology
  • Published : December 30, 2010

Shin, Seung-Chol 1

1베를린 훔볼트대학

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The creative moment of art criticism involves, inevitably, an occurrence of aesthetic value with regards to the dimension of sensual perception. The image-description of Sigmund Freud, a kind of method for art criticism, calls attention to this idea. Influenced by Givannni Morelli, Freud paid attention to the statue by Michelangelo in every detail, and tried to interpret the motive of the work, while he described it. In his close observation, details of the work build a totality of movement. In the analysis of this movement, Freud insists that the Moses was not created to represent an historical moment, but to portray the strong ego of Moses. Freud had developed this type of method, since he worked in the neuroanatomic laboratory of Theodor Meinert. Working in the scientific tradition that tries to show the essence of things by empirical observation and description, he was engaged in nerve cell research and wanted to illuminate the mechanism of psychological activity. He had suffered a few failures and these experiences repeated themselves in his art criticism. He felt uneasy about his interpretation and finally decided to contribute his manuscript anonymously. The cause of this kind of uneasiness is that Freud confused seeing a thing with knowing about it. He failed, because he tried to extract scientific knowledge of things with the aid of an image, standing in the tradition of natural science. But his method of the observation and description of an image deserves a special notice, because he dealt with the activity of image in an open logic. Although he shows his lack of modern knowledge about the image, his method illuminates the moment of aesthetic experience that is generated, very successfully, in the expanded field between the presence of a subject and an object. Sigmund Freud investigated the mechanism of the occurrence of an aesthetic value with an interest in the visual impression of art work and the activity of an image, whereby he achieves some noteworthy results by satisfying his own desire for the psychological progress and for the demand of the tradition of image-description from ekphrasis

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