Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Marble sphinx on a cavetto capital

ca. 580–575 B.C.
Greek, Attic
H. with akroterion 28 3/8 in. (72 cm)
Stone Sculpture
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1924
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 153
Inscribed on the plinth, I am the monument of [...]linos

This sphinx and capital once crowned the tall grave shaft of a youth or man named Philinos or Thalinos. They belong to the earliest type of grave stele produced in Attica during the sixth century B.C. Stylistically, the sphinx is related to such early statues as the kouros (youth) displayed in the gallery to your left. It has the same four-sided structure with grooved indications of anatomical forms and large, flat, stylized features. In the early Archaic period, Greek sculptors learned much from the Egyptians about carving large-scale stone monuments. The simple concave form of this capital imitates the cavetto molding often found in Egyptian architecture.
Inscription: On the plinth: "I am the monument of [...]linos"
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1926. "The Classical Collection: Rearrangement and Important Accessions." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 21 (4), Part 2: p. 10.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1926. "Greek Sculpture: Recent Accessions." Bulletin of the Metropolian Museum of Art, 21 (5): pp. 126-7, fig. 4.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1927. Handbook of the Classical Collection. pp. 237-38, fig. 163, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1930. Handbook of the Classical Collection. pp. 237-38, fig. 163, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. pp. 48, 195, pl. 35a, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1961. The Archaic Gravestones of Attica. pp. 10, 191, figs. 1-7, London: Phaidon Press.

Billot, Marie-Françoise. 1977. "Recherches sur le sphinx du Louvre CA 637." Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique, 101(1): pp. 399 n. 27, 400 n. 31.

von Bothmer, Dietrich. 1978. Antichnoe iskusstvo iz muzeia Metropoliten, Soedinennye Shtaty Ameriki: Katalog vystavki. no. 26, Moscow: Sovetskii Khudozhnik.

Croissant, Francis. 1988. "Tradition et innovation dans les ateliers corinthiens archaïques: Matériaux pour l'histoire d'un style." Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique, 112(1): pp. 132, 134.

Holtzmann, Bernard. 1991. "Une sphinge archaïque de Thasos." Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique, 115(1): p. 138 n. 42.

Bodel, John P. and Stephen Tracy. 1997. Greek and Latin Inscriptions in the USA: A Checklist. p. 184, Rome: The American Academy in Rome.

Brinkmann, Vinzenz. 1998. Frisuren in Stein: Arbeitsweisen frühgriechischer Bildhauer. no. A15, pp. 22, 24, fig. 14.1, tab. 3, 27, 52, München: Biering und Brinkmann.

Lazzarini, Lorenzo and Dr. Clemente Marconi. 2014. "A New Analysis of Major Greek Sculptures in the Metropolitan Museum: Petrological and Stylistic." Metropolitan Museum Journal, 49: pp. 125-6, fig. 25.

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