Limestone statue of a sphinx

Greek, Attic

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 153

Colorful details and intricate patterns contribute to the fantastical appearance of this sphinx. Arranged in a scale-like pattern, the breast feathers are defined by incised arcs made using a compass. The artist incorporated the central points left by the leg of the compass into the decoration, accentuating each with a red dot. The overlapping feathers of the wings were subtly carved in low relief to create a three-dimensional effect, then painted. Traces of red and black pigments still visible on the feathers follow a color scheme similar to that used for other Archaic grave monuments in the collection.

Limestone statue of a sphinx, Limestone, Greek, Attic

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