The Freud Museum

Figure of Eros

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3274, Figure of Eros, Hellenistic Period; 3rd - 2nd century B.C.

Artist: Photographer: Ardon Bar Hama
Culture: Asia Minor Myrina
Material: Terracotta
Dimensions: 33.4 x 24.2 x 13.6 cm

Terracotta figure of Eros flying, hands uplifted, wearing himation (cloak) around hips.

Eros aroused desire, for people and for objects. Plato suggested love and desire are directed at 'what you don't have, what isn't there, and what you need.' Freud, lover of beautiful things, recognised the urge. This statue of Eros was an object of desire he had to possess. Not only did it epitomise Classical civilization and the new ideas Freud developed in relation to it but, equally, Eros was an item of pure aesthetic pleasure. Freud told Jung, 'I must always have an object to love'.

This large Eros has both arms raised, as if flying forward. Like Eros (Cat no 1), he is barefoot. The object tucked in his robe may be a box mirror - a mirror in two parts including a lid to protect the reflective part - or a rattle. His hair is arranged over an elaborate roll and falls in loose curls over his shoulders.

Though Freud made a catalogue of his art collection during the First World War, it was lost, so it is unknown where or when he bought most of his 2000 artworks.

See this object on our Collections site here

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