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Oedipus and Sphinx

Gustave Moreau • Painting, 1864, 206.4×104.8 cm
About the artwork
Art form: Painting
Subject and objects: Mythological scene, Literary scene
Style of art: Symbolism
Technique: Oil
Materials: Canvas
Date of creation: 1864
Size: 206.4×104.8 cm
Artwork in selections: 9 selections

Description of the artwork «Oedipus and Sphinx»

Symbolist painter Gustave Moreau refers in his picture to the ancient Greek myth about how the hero and king Oedipus met on the road to Thebes Sphinx - a winged monster with the body of a lion and the head of a woman who asked all the travelers the same riddle: “Who walks in the morning on four legs, on two in the afternoon and on three in the evening? ”No one could give an answer, and the Sphinx devoured them, but Oedipus guessed that he was a man in infancy, in adulthood and in old age.

Moro Sphinx is endowed with the head of a beautiful girl, with the grace of a cat, he jumps on Oedipus on the chest, which makes the whole scene take on a special sensual shade. But the hero looks at this creature with interest and apprehension: the Sphinx is the embodiment of nature, which forever sets riddles to a person, and who knows if he will solve them once again, but will nevertheless strive for knowledge.