- Purchase/rental options available:
Approaching eighty, Freud, in a letter to Lou Andreas-Salomé, described his engagement with the story of Moses as enduring "throughout the whole of my life." The origins of this relationship, usually traced to Freud's experiences with the narratives of his childhood Bible, may have included early encounters, in the company of his Czech caretaker, with sculptural images as well. The first three years of Freud's life were spent in Moravia, where a reverence for Moses was deeply woven into the Catholic identity of its population and the region's visual culture. A statue of this biblical figure in one of the churches in Freud's birthplace provides us with an opportunity to investigate the amalgam of meanings invested in Mosaic representation, and its extension in an important local saint, Methodius. Moses' Jewish identity was incorporated into discourses of local hagiology, perhaps complicating his significance for Freud from the start.