Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme – MAHJ

Sigmund Freud

From looking to listening

Curator: Jean Clair

In France, Freudian doctrine spread initially in literary circles that underestimated its scientific rationalism. The exhibition therefore focuses on Freud’s years in Vienna and Paris. Fascinated by Darwin’s theories and with a constantly growing interest in biology, he began his career as a neurologist, producing diagrams and sketches similar to those devised by neuroscientists to understand the development of neurons and the workings of the brain.

The exhibition traces the invention of psychoanalysis from its inception in the observation of photographed and drawn symptoms under the aegis of Jean-Martin Charcot at the Salpêtrière Hospital, and which found its specificity and effectiveness in shunning imagery to focus solely on listening, word associations and the complete absence of visual representation. In this respect, Freud can be regarded as an heir to Moses, that great image-breaker. Jewish spirituality pervades Freud’s work from The Interpretation of Dreams, infused with Talmudic hermeneutics, to his final text, Moses and Monotheism.

With the support of the Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah and the Direction Régionale des Affaires Culturelles d'Île-de-France – Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication

With the exceptional support of the Musée d’Orsay

In partnership with the Austrian Cultural Forum


From 10 October 2018 to 10 February 2019
Image for Sigmund Freud
Artwork(s) loaned
  • Maternity

    Eugène Carrière (1849—1906)

    Maternity c.1899
    Charcoal and white chalk on paper
  • Conte de pistils et d’étamines

    Frantisek Kupka (1871—1957)

    Conte de pistils et d’étamines 1919
    Gouache on paper
  • Transparence

    Francis Picabia (1879—1953)

    Transparence c.1930
    Pencil on paper