Oedipus and the Sphynx

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Student Name Institution Course Date OEDIPUS AND THE SPHINX Oedipus and the Sphinx, 1864 Gustave Moreau (French, 1826–1898) Oil on canvas; 81 1/4 x 41 1/4 in. (206.4 x 104.8 cm) Signed and dated (lower left): .Gustave Moreau .64. Bequest of William H. Herriman, 1920 (21.134.1) Gustave Moreau’s Oedipus and the Sphinx is a symbolical allusion and interpretation of the mythological story of Oedipus and the Sphinx. The painting shows the confrontation between Oedipus and the Sphinx, Oedipus had to answer the riddles from the sphinx whose intellect was overwhelming, in order to save himself and the people of Thebes; this was at a time when Thebans were besieged with in a political crisis, plague and loss of on religion. The painting triumphed greatly at the Salon of 1864, this was a time when the contemporary society had preference on realism over history and mythical painting. History painting was being ignored and was falling to disuse, Moreau did not agree with this. Moreau was in support for idealism , as an artist he wanted to dedicate his time as an artist forsaking his other life as a human being. The painting’s symbolic intentions, the use of the mythological subject (Sphinx), and the authoritative severity in the style gave an impression of the original grand art. Moreau was though of by many as the saviour of the grand at a time when realism had taken over the paintings at the Salon. Moreau fought for preservation of the grand part style of painting. He was seen as a painter with the potential of countering both the deteriorating art of the Salon painting and the new deluge of realism. The austere in Moreau’s painting of Oedipus and the Sphinx is resembles the epic austerity of the grand art. The painting can be said to be conceived from the one of the best compositions of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. Moreau’s painting is taken

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