Maternal love, Oedipus and the Sphinx, and a naked courtesan unveiled before a court of men, all demonstrate how important is gaze.
One of the famous painted narratives, Oedipus and the Sphinx proves an exception to all rules, but is glossed over in discussion of the literary narrative.
Moreau is often claimed as a ‘father of Symbolism’, or even a Symbolist. A detailed look at his first great success at the Salon: is it regular narrative or symbolist?
Hardly painted before 1800, there has since been a succession of brilliant paintings of this story. Its focus has changed, from the tension as Oedipus tries to answer the riddle, to the femme fatale.