In honor of my story Three Legs in the Evening appearing in The Sexy Librarian's Big Book of Erotica, I thought I'd post some Oedipus art. Now there are in fact quite a few classic paintings out there which show Oedipus as he features in my tale, blind and disgraced and cast down from the throne, but those aren't terribly cheerful or sexy. I thought I'd concentrate on the Sphinx bit of the story today. Because those pictures are distinctly and amusingly pervy.
|Where are her feet?|
It's worth noting, I think, the marked beauty of the protagonists in both pictures. And the sphinx's fine boobs.
Boobs are important to many artists ... and their clients.
|1864 - Note that her face is almost totally in shadow. Not that he's looking at her face anyway.|
The sphinx,as a female monster, tends to be highly sexualised in western art. Lust and death in one bestial, mysterious package.
|(I can't find the artist, but it would appear to be another symbolist.)|
|The Kiss of the Sphinx (1895) by Franz Stuck|
|Oedipus and the Sphinx (1808) by François-Xavier Fabre|
This is all despite the fact that the ancient Greeks didn't seem to think that a sphinx ought to have breasts at all:
And to be fair, the odd Victorian/Edwardian artist did take their cue from that:
|The Caress or The Sphinx by Fernand Khnopff (1896)|
|The Sphinx (1907) by Georg von Rosen|
And since you've made it this far I will reward you with a picture of Oedipus' mother/wife: Jocasta (1913) by Harold Speed.
|Do you think she's just heard some bad news?|