Signed photograph.[London: Wilhelm Hoffer, photographer, 1938] Stock Code: 132013
NotesFreud reads the manuscript of Moses and Monotheism. A superb signed photograph of Freud at work taken by the Austrian-British psychoanalyst Wilhelm Hoffer (1897-1967), depicting Freud seated at his desk in London.
Freud had begun working on his Moses book in 1934 and partly published it in German in 1937. He arrived in London on 6 June 1938, announcing that he wished to continue his biblical studies. (Hoffer also fled Vienna for London about the same time.) Freud finished the book that year and the complete German text in three parts was first published in Amsterdam in March 1939 as Der Mann Moses und die Monotheistische Religion. Freud's English was excellent, but he entrusted the task of translating the book to Katerina (Kitty) Jokl, who had been at school with Freud's daughter, Anna. "In fact, his desire to see the English translation published became his most urgent dying wish" (Freud's Literary Culture, Frankland). Katerina was the second wife of Freud's leading British acolyte, Ernest Jones. The English translation was published by the Hogarth Press in May 1939 (the translation credited to Katherine Jones), Freud dying in September that year.
Provenance: although without identifying marks to this effect, a previous owner stated that he had been gifted the photograph by a member of the Jones family, the photograph having been given by Freud to Katerina.
In his autobiography Katerina's son, the British novelist, journalist and biographer Mervyn Jones (19222010), writes about his childhood and the various traumas of his schooldays, including being psychoanalysed as part of the family business. He describes the affection he felt as a teenager for Freud, a warmth reciprocated by the great man, and the importance of that influence on the entire Jones family. In September 1939, the month of Freud's death, he and his mother left England for New York, not returning until 1942.
In 2009 the photograph was in the stock of Lion Heart Autographs of New York City.
Original silver gelatine print (112 x 87 mm).
Signed by the subject, "Sigm. Freud", across the lighter portion of the photograph. Pencil markings on verso and faint ink processing number "89 030"; traces of album mount. Silvering of the darker parts of the image, else very good. Presented in a dark stained oak frame with museum acrylic glazing.
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