A HERMANN STRUCK
Vienna IX, Berggasse 19, the 7 November 1914.
I noted with admiration that you take your work seriously to my portrait. Probably is this your usual way of working.
I look forward to the great comments that you promised to Moses. As I have not yet received, I do not want to wait for more tests and refer you to write this letter. I hasten to tell you, even before having read your comments, I am fully aware of the fundamental flaw of my work : have wanted to consider the artist a rational, as if it were a researcher or technician, while we are dealing with a being of a particular species, to a superior, autocrat, impious and sometimes quite elusive.
A little book I wrote about Leonardo da Vinci (1) will probably not your taste. It assumes that the reader should not be shocked by homosexual issues and the tortuous paths of psychoanalysis are familiar to. The book is also fictionalized as half. I do not want you to judge by the example of the accuracy of our other discoveries. I send you at the same time as a small band thing( 2) Regarding the rest to another art.
Here are the critical observations that you have requested (I've amalgamated those of my wife and others). They were made possible by your remark according to which we can be assured of our incompetence. Otherwise, I would not dare to make any sort of criticism. I myself am, doubtless, most of all incom-petent. One, nevertheless, you really want to know my opinion, I hope you will accept with good grace the following few thoughts. Your etching etching seems to be a charming idealization. This is the portrait I would like and I may be in the process of doing but, in any case, I stopped on the way. Everything in me is ruffled "and angular, you have wavy and rounded. In my opinion, there is an accessory that night likeness : how you treated my hair. You set the line on one side, whereas according to the testimony of lithography, I wear the other. More, the hairline is home to the temple rather concave shape. Rounding it you have a lot embellished appearance…
It is likely that this correction was intentional. I therefore consider this as very flattering engraving. I like it more every time I look.
My relationship with lithography are less pleasant. I totally agree the Jewish element in the head, but there is something else I do not recognize. I think this is due to excessive opening of the mouth, the beard pointed forward and whose outer contours are charged too. Trying to find out where these traits could come I was reminded of this lovely orchid and evil, the Orchibestia Karlsbadiensis we shared. This would give a composite figure (to speak as in The Interpretation of Dreams) : Jewish and orchid!
Here I am at the end of my remarks, and I recommend all your kindness again. When you send me the completed tests, I will be very grateful, but my gratitude will temporarily platonic.
Maybe we could put to use everything else our meeting in Carlsbad, if we could suspect it would end so abruptly and that the review would if improbable.
My wife asked me to send you his best memory, which I join mine
Your very devoted Freud.
(1) See also the letter Ihe October 1911.
(2) This is probably the test on Jensen's Gradiva (see also note the letter of 26 may 1907).