Hazarding about Freud’s posing

FreudAssuming that Jung had primary responsibility for the posing of the photograph, let me speculate regarding Freud‘s response to this situation. Freud was generally uneasy about being photographed. For example, in his response to Jung’s request for his picture in 1907 (McGuire, p. 88) he wrote, “In the last fifteen years I have never willingly sat for a photographer, because I am too vain to countenance my physical deterioration.” In addition, Roazen (l975, p. 229) learned in an unpublished interview with Reik that Freud was particularly uncomfortable about his height relative to Jung’s. Therefore, it seems to me that Freud was somewhat uneasy during the photograph arrangement but, my guess is that he approved and was generally pleased at his artificially elevated placement in the center of the group, and was probably appreciative of Jung’s efforts.

Finally, there is a most interesting and telling epilogue to this event. Jones, in an unpublished letter to Freud in 1926, reveals that at the end of the conference Jung told him that someday he would stand higher than Freud. Jones recalls that he was shocked at this statement and asked Jung why he didn’t analyze his father complex (Donn, l988, p. l34).

So writes Professor Martin S. Fiebert in his study “Speculation Regarding the Posing of Freud in the Group Photograph at the Third International Psychoanalytic Congress.