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Gradiva  

Gradiva

Cat. 1284

The relief is part of a composition showing three women moving from the right associated to other three female figures mirroring them on reliefs held in various museums: they are the so-called Horae and Aglaurids, probably derived from a Greek original of the 4th century B.C.
The name Gradiva, Latin for "she who walks", was attributed to the first girl of the group in the short story by Wilhelm Jensen, Gradiva. A Pompeian Fantasy (1903). Carl Gustav Jung brought the short story to the attention of Sigmund Freud, who examined this literary work as though it were a psychiatric case. In his study Delusion and Dream in Jensen's "Gradiva" (1906) he takes the literary concept as the starting point for an explanation of how external stimuli may sometimes bring the most hidden psychic tensions to the surface. In Rome Freud, who collected ancient art, bought a cast of this relief which he hung on the wall of his study near the famous couch.