Tuesday, 5 July 2016

The SPHINX IN GREEK ART

THE SPHINX IN GREEK ART

#sphinx #greekart #ceramics #sculpture

It is a curious feature of Greek art that the creature with a male head and lion's body becomes female and acquires a body more like that of a cheetah or cat in Greek Art.

We do not know if early Greek visitors to Naucratis or Memphis or Thebes actually saw the Sphinx at Giza or Sphinx figures at temples. It is perhaps more likely the first images Greeks saw of Sphinx were Phoenician ivories like this?



This one is male but the beardless face along with the legend of a female sphinx at Thebes plus the arrival of the first domestic cats lead to images like this:



On this Archaic era vessel the sphinxes appear alongside lions and a feline that may be a leopard or cheetah plus other animals.

Next time the Sphinx of Delphi !