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Luca Signorelli and Freud: a step in the genesis of psychoanalysis?
Luca Signorelli was often considered as the last artist of the 15th century; but today, on the fifth centenary of his death, he is recognized as the first great Renaissance painter. Already in Vasari’s time he was considered Michelangelo’s inspirational master, especially for his powerful ability to portray the naked body.

Signorelli’s masterpiece, The Last Judgment, in the Cappella Nova or Chapel of Saint Brice in Orvieto Cathedral, also left a mark on the genesis of psychoanalysis, the frescoes inspiring a famous visitor, Sigmund Freud. As is well known, the future father of psychoanalysis took an interest in several painters, although he considered himself not “a connoisseur of art but a layman.” He mentions them in his correspondence, recalling the emotions that affected him in admiring their works. We learn from him that one of the main painters who played a significant role in the birth of psychoanalysis was Luca Signorelli.
© Union of Catholic Asian News 2024
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