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Statue of Sigmund Freud, Hampstead

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Title: Statue of Sigmund Freud, Hampstead  
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Subject: Sigmund Freud, List of public art in London, List of public art in Bexley, List of public art in Wandsworth, Breathing (memorial sculpture)
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Statue of Sigmund Freud, Hampstead

Sigmund Freud
The statue of Freud in Hampstead
Artist Oscar Nemon
Year 1971
Type Bronze
Location London

The statue of Sigmund Freud is a seated bronze statue of the founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, situated on the junction of Fitzjohn's Avenue and Belsize Lane in Hampstead, North London.[1] Freud lived at nearby 20 Maresfield Gardens, for the last months of his life. His house is now the Freud Museum.

Nemon, who had read Freud in his teens, initially approached Freud as a young sculptor and was rejected by him.[2] After Nemon had gained his reputation in Brussels, he was approached by Freud's assistant Paul Federn in 1931 to sculpt Freud for his 75th birthday.[2] Nemon finished busts of Freud in wood, bronze and plaster, and Freud chose to keep the wooden portrait for himself.[2] The wooden bust is on display at the Freud Museum. Nemon visited Freud for a final time in London in 1938. His last sittings with Freud would create a "...harsher more abstracted portrait" which would become the head for the Hampstead statue.[2]

Freud wrote in his diary in July 1931 of Nemon's portrait that "The head, which the gaunt, goatee-bearded artist has fashioned from the dirt like the good Lord is very good and an astonishingly life-like impression of me."[2] On seeing the head of Freud, his housekeeper Paula Fichtl said that Nemon had made Freud look "too angry", to which Freud responded that "...But I am angry. I am angry with humanity."[2]

Freud's daughter, Anna Freud, attended the unveiling of the statue in 1971, accompanied by children from her Hampstead Clinic (now the Anna Freud Centre).[3] The statue was originally located in "an alcove behind Swiss Cottage Library, where it was virtually hidden away from the public."[4] The Freud Museum arranged for the statue to be moved to its present location in 1998.[4]


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