Marble sphinx on a cavetto capital

Greek, Attic

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 153

Carved from a single block of marble, this sphinx and capital once crowned a tall grave marker. An inscription on the plinth identifies the deceased as a youth or man named Philinos or Thalinos. Incised details and traces of red and black paint accentuate the feathers of the breast and wings. The variable shape of the feathers is characteristic of the earliest stone sphinxes produced in Attica during the sixth century b.c., while the simple concave form of the capital imitates the cavetto molding often found in Egyptian architecture.

Marble sphinx on a cavetto capital, Marble, Greek, Attic

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