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Between Oedipus and the Sphinx: Freud and Egypt

Freud Museum, London

7 Aug - 27 Oct 2019

Sigmund Freud famously hung a print of Ingres’ Oedipus and the Sphinx beside his couch – but while the importance of Greek myth to his thought is well known, Freud’s fascination with sphinxes, mummies and other aspects of ancient Egyptian culture is less familiar. He surrounded himself with Egyptian artefacts, and spent long nights reading to prepare himself for morning excursions to the Egypt Galleries at the British Museum. Featuring objects from Freud’s collection alongside those from his contemporary, the Egyptologist Flinders Petrie, this exhibition compares their very different approaches to Egypt and archaeology – Freud’s ‘archaeology of the mind’ as a psychoanalytic metaphor versus Petrie’s work to professionalise the discipline. Find out more from the Freud Museum’s website.

Preview the exhibition below | View Apollo’s Art Diary here

Gilded mummy mask (600–332 BC), Egypt. Photo: © Freud Museum

Reproduction print of Oedipus and the Sphinx (1827) by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres

Reproduction print of Oedipus and the Sphinx (1827) by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. Photo: © Freud Museum

Human headed Ba-bird (323–30 BC), Egypt.

Human headed Ba-bird (323–30 BC), Egypt. Photo: © Freud Museum

The Freud family Bible. Photo: © Freud Museum

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