The infant Oedipus and Phorbas

by Mikkal Noptek October. 18, 2013 5276 views

August 24, 2013

Antoine-Denis Chaudet (1763??1810) was a French sculptor who worked in a neoclassical style.

The infant Oedipus and Phorbas (1799). Shown at the Salon of 1801, it was completed by Pierre Cartellier (1757??1831) and Louis Dupaty (1771??1825) after Chaudet's death.

A tragic hero in Greek mythology, Oedipus fulfilled a prophecy that said he would kill his father, and thereby bring disaster on his city and family.

Oedipus was born to King Laius and Queen Jocasta. In the most well-known version of the myth, Laius wished to thwart a prophecy saying that his child would grow up to murder his father and marry his mother.

Thus, he fastened the infant's feet together with a large pin and left him to die on a mountainside. The baby was found on Kithairon by shepherds and raised by King Polybus and Queen Merope in the city of Corinth. Oedipus learned from the oracle at Delphi of the prophecy, but believing he was fated to murder Polybus and marry Merope he left Corinth.

Heading to Thebes, Oedipus met an older man in a chariot coming the other way on a narrow road. The two quarreled over who should give way, which resulted in Oedipus killing the stranger and continuing on to Thebes. He found that the king of the city (Laius) had been recently killed and that the city was at the mercy of the Sphinx. Oedipus answered the monster's riddle correctly, defeating it and winning the throne of the dead king and the hand in marriage of the king's widow, his mother, Jocasta.

Oedipus and Jocasta had two sons (Eteocles and Polynices) and two daughters (Antigone and Ismene). In his search to determine who killed Laius (and thus end a plague on Thebes), Oedipus discovered it was he who had killed the late king: his father.

Jocasta also soon realized that she had married her own son and Laius's murderer, and she hanged herself. Oedipus seized two pins from her dress and blinded himself with them.

Oedipus was driven into exile, accompanied by Antigone and Ismene. After years of wandering, he arrived in Athens, where he found refuge in a grove of trees called Colonus. By this time, warring factions in Thebes wished him to return to that city, believing that his body would bring it luck. However, Oedipus died at Colonus, and the presence of his grave there was said to bring good fortune to Athens.

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Agnes Felber 7 years, 6 months ago

Great story and sculpture! Oh, those Greeks!

7 years, 6 months ago Edited
Josy 7 years, 6 months ago

L'angle de la seconde est ma préférée et je me demande aussi pourquoi le chien du berger donne un grand coup de langue sur la plante des pieds de l'enfant.

7 years, 6 months ago Edited
Finbarr 7 years, 6 months ago

Nice post!

7 years, 6 months ago Edited
G B 7 years, 6 months ago

wow! so realistic looking!

7 years, 6 months ago Edited
Marilyn Grimble 7 years, 6 months ago

Never too old to learn !

7 years, 6 months ago Edited
Kenny H 7 years, 6 months ago

incredible detail...good post

7 years, 6 months ago Edited
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