Exhibition: Between Oedipus and the Sphinx: Freud and Egypt

This exhibition CLOSED on Sun, 13th Oct 2019

This exhibition has finished.

Coronavirus: Events may be cancelled and venues closed at short notice, you are advised to check on their websites before making a trip.

Cost: £9

Egyptian artefacts form the largest part of Freud’s collection and lie behind his ‘archaeological metaphor’ – one of his most productive methods for exploring the psyche and developing the practice of psychoanalysis.

Freud thought about the archaeology of the mind while advances in professional archaeology and Egyptology were developing. This fascinating new exhibition will bring Freud into dialogue with his contemporary Flinders Petrie, the first UK Professor of Egyptology, comparing their thoughts on archaeology and their respective collections of artefacts.

Exploring the themes of Egyptomania, sexuality, death and more, objects from Freud and Petrie’s own personal collections will be displayed side by side.

A painting of Oedipus’ encounter with the Sphinx famously hung beside Freud’s couch. Nobody doubts the significance of Oedipus to the development of Freud’s thought but the presence of the Sphinx reminds us of his less celebrated interest in Egyptian culture.

Egypt played a prominent role in Freud’s writings. In his psychobiography of Leonardo da Vinci, Freud uses the Egyptian goddess Mut as the key to the artist’s sexual and creative identity. Egypt again takes centre stage in Freud’s final work Moses and Monotheism where he makes the scandalous claim that Moses was not a Jew but an Egyptian.

This Summer exhibition will explore all these themes and more, with the opportunity to see some never-before displayed Egyptian treasures from Freud’s collection up close.


Freud Museum,

20 Maresfield Gardens, Hampstead, London,

Map of Freud Museum


Other exhibitions open at Freud Museum

Freud and China
This exhibition explores Sigmund Freud's fascination and relationship with China.
Freud and China
10:30am to 5pm
Closing soon Sun, 5th June


Exhibitions opening soon at Freud Museum

Lucian Freud: The Painter and His Family
The first exhibition of Lucian Freud’s work in the home of his grandfather, Sigmund Freud, and aunt, Anna Freud
Open from Wed 6th July to Sun 29th January 2023
Lucian Freud: The Painter and His Family