The Freud Museum

Athenian Red-Figured Hydria

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3117, Athenian Red-Figured Hydria, Classical Period; c. 380-360 B.C.

Artist: Photographer: Ardon Bar Hama
Culture: Greek
Material: Terracotta
Dimensions: h. 9 in / 22.8 cm

The scene on this hydria illustrates the legend of Oedipus and the Sphinx. Holding two spears, Oedipus sits facing the Sphinx. Behind the Sphinx is a youth, probably a companion of Oedipus, who also holds a spear. The Sphinx’s skin is white, revealing her gender, while her wings are left the red colour of the clay.

Freud’s love of antiquity is obvious in his works. The Oedipus complex, one of his most well known theories, is an ode to his classical education

See this object on our Collections site here 

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