May 18, 2009
May 18, 2009

Oedipus at Colonus

Oedipus at Colonus


Fulchran Jean Harriet

(French, 1778–1805)

Oil on canvas

Framed: 187.5 x 164.5 x 8.5 cm (73 13/16 x 64 3/4 x 3 3/8 in.); Unframed: 157 x 134 cm (61 13/16 x 52 3/4 in.)

Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund 2002.3

Did you know?

Fulchran Jean Harriet died young at age 29, and less than 10 of his works survive today.


The ancient mythical Greek king Oedipus fulfilled his fate by unknowingly killing his father and marrying his mother. He subsequently blinded himself and was exiled. Here, Oedipus reprimands himself, while protecting his daughter Antigone. Oedipus became popular in France just after the French Revolution, since the subject addressed the return of exiles. The ancient Greek writer Sophocles provided the best-known version of the tragedy, but an interpretation that played in Paris in 1797 inspired Harriet’s work.

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