Overall: 27 x 20.5 x 26.3 cm (10 5/8 x 8 1/16 x 10 3/8 in.)
Weight: 16.103 kg (35.5 lbs.)
Gift of the John Huntington Art and Polytechnic Trust 1928.858
Greek sphinxes were often placed on top of columns or grave stelai as guardian figures.
This female head once belonged to a sphinx, a mythological hybrid creature with the head of a woman and body of a winged lion. Her short cylindrical crown, known as a polos, helps to identify her as a sphinx, as does the slope of her hair and neck, which once continued onto a feline body. Also common in ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern art (though more often in male form), the sphinx is best known in Greek mythology for devouring passersby who could not answer her riddle outside the Boiotian city of Thebes. Stone sphinxes like this one served as both votive offerings and grave monuments in Archaic Greece.
The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email email@example.com.
To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.
All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.