Red-figure amphora, Oedipus & Sphinx
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Oedipus solves the riddle of the Theban Sphinx
The hero wears a traveller's cloak and petasos cap, and holds a spear in his hand. The Sphinx has the head of a woman, the body of a lion and the wings of an eagle. She crouches on a low plinth.
There are similar amphora in Munich. This one, the Boston amphora, Oedipus holds a single staff or lance harmlessly in his left hand and extends his right hand towards the Sphinx, as though in the act of explaining the answer to the riddle.
(On the Munich amphora he is not so engaged but stands almost frontally with his head turned in profile to the Sphinx, with an air of attention. His lance, positioned point down, is held in his right hand between them.)
440 BC. Attic red-figure amphora.
Boston, Fine Arts
Η. 19 cm