Monday, July 29, 2013

Wallace collection and Idea 176 is Psychoanalysis and Freudianism

Home of the Wallace Collection
Today I visited the Wallace Collection at Hertford House in London's Manchester Square - it's famous for its works of art and period furniture.
It is quite a change from the sort of place I've been visiting of late (mainly modern-ish art galleries) with many formal pictures from Europe in a fantastic museum.

 Couple of pictures that really caught  my attention
1) The listening Housewife by Nicolas Maes.
this is a really fascinating work which actually takes quite a bit of reading the clever layout showing the activates below stairs  is (as far as I know) an intelligent innovation for a painting completed in 1656.
The other picture that I fell in love with was
2) An allegory of true love by Pieter Pourbus, this is an even earlier work from the 16th Century (1547) that uses humour to make it's point - the use of written terms on the protagonists is original for the time (I reckon).
There are some other great paintings there  including many by Canaletto and Guardia it was a treat to see the Laughing Cavalier by Frans Hall and two paintings by Pieter de Hooch caught my eye with their refreshing representation of internal light (A boy bringing bread felt almost contemporary).

WW1 Lord commemorated

I was interested to see a blue plaque to  Alfred (Lord) Milner in Manchester square, a politician from the early 20th century I'd not heard about.

 Big Idea Number 176 is Psychoanalysis and Freudianism

In today's pantheon of  enormous ideas there are few greater than this one..
it remains controversial  but relevant and it is  Psychoanalysis and Freudianism that I consider today.

 Although quite a bit of Sigmund Freud's theoretical work has been discredited he remains a giant of the 20th century firmament and his idea of 'talking cures' remains.

Conceptually sound (perhaps) but practically unproven the unconscious remains something of a mystery the ego, superego and id are used as shorthand by many of us in seeking to explain behaviour and the practice of psychoanalysis has brought benefits to many.
Here's Alain De Botton's 6 top keywords on the topic and a clip too (below)

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