The Sphinx was a Greek mythical female creature with the body of a lion, the head and breast of a woman, and eagle's wings.
According to the myth, she dwelt outside the city of Thebes, and asked a riddle to all travellers, in order to let them pass. The riddle she asked is a famous one; which is the creature that has one voice, but has four feet in the morning, two feet in the afternoon, and three feet at night? Anyone who struggled to answer was eaten by the monster. However, Oedipus managed to answer correctly; he replied "the man", who crawls on all fours as a baby, walks on two as an adult, and needs a walking cane when old.
It seems that there was a second riddle following the first; "there are two sisters; one gives birth the the other, who in turn gives birth to the first. Who are they?" The correct answer is "day and night", two words that are both feminine in the Greek language. After Oedipus correctly answered both questions, the Sphinx killed herself, either by throwing herself off the rock on which she rested, or by devouring herself. This seems to be the literary way in which the ancient Greeks transitioned from the old religious practices, represented by the Sphinx, to the new ones and the establishment of the Olympian deities, represented by Oedipus.
Sphinxes were very popular in ancient art. They were employed as sculptur upon the tombs of men who died in youth. In archaic vase paintings they often appear amongst a procession of animals and fabulous creatures such as lions and bird-bodied sirens.
This modern rendition appears on the grounds of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada.
0.6, 1/4, 1 sec at f/2.5, ISO 100Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens at 50mm
I hope you enjoy today's J.W. Remington Photographics' Photo of the Day for February 6, 2018!
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