Glyn Warren Philpot Oedipus Replying to the Sphinx 1931

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Artwork details

Oedipus Replying to the Sphinx
Date 1931
Medium Bronze
Dimensions Object: 838 x 546 x 318 mm
Acquisition Presented by the Contemporary Art Society 1932
Not on display

Display caption

Oedipus, a figure from Greek mythology, encountered the Sphinx in the city of Thebes. The Sphinx was a monster with the body of a lion, a human head and female breasts who destroyed those who could not answer her riddle about the three ages of men. Oedipus solved the riddle and the Sphinx killed herself. Oedipus with the Sphinx was a subject used by artists from Greek vase painters of the 5th century BC onwards, but in this work Philpot offers Oedipus alone, inwardly confident in the surety of his answer. Philpot painted a mural in London in 1931 of 'Oedipus addressing the Sphinx' which depicted the two characters together.

January 1991

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