Detail View: The AMICA Library: Oedipus at Colonus

AMICA ID: 
CMA_.2002.3
AMICA Library Year: 
2003
Object Type: 
Paintings
Creator Name: 
Harriet, Fulchran-Jean
Creator Nationality: 
French
Creator Role: 
artist
Creator Dates/Places: 
1778 - 1805
Gender: 
M
Creator Birth Place: 
Paris
Creator Death Place: 
Rome
Creator Name-CRT: 
Fulchran-Jean Harriet
Title: 
Oedipus at Colonus
Title Type: 
Primary
View: 
Full View
Creation Date: 
1798
Creation Start Date: 
1798
Creation End Date: 
1798
Materials and Techniques: 
oil on canvas
Classification Term: 
Painting
Style or Period: 
France, 18th century
Dimensions: 
Framed: 187.5cm x 164.5cm x 8.5cm, Overall: 157cm x 134cm
AMICA Contributor: 
The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: 
Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 
2002.3
Credit Line: 
Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund
Rights: 
Context: 
This painting depicts the ancient mythical Greek king Oedipus with his daughter Antigone. Following Oedipus's self-inflicted blinding and exile from Thebes, Antigone guided him to the city of Colonus. The two grieving figures are shown here in the manner of a pietà, the traditional artistic representation of the Virgin Mary mourning the dead body of Christ, who rests on her knees.Pictures like this of ancient mythological or religious subjects were the most highly prized paintings in France during the short career of Harriet, who was a student of the celebrated artist Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825). The moral and ethical knowledge that their lofty themes generated was a fundamental reason for the importance of such works. Representing the exile of Oedipus in paintings, dramas, and operas became especially popular in France during this time because it related to the contemporaneous return of French citizens exiled during the Revolution of 1789.The story of Oedipus at Colonus first appeared in the tragedy by the ancient Greek writer Sophocles. A modern reinterpretation of this drama which played in Paris in 1797 inspired Harriet's piece.
Related Image Identifier Link: 
CMA_.2002.3.tif