Caress of the Sphinx

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Caress of the Sphinx, 1896

Caress of the Sphinx (also known as Art) is an 1896 painting by the Belgian Symbolist artist Fernand Khnopff (1858–1921) famed for its depiction of androgyny.[1] The work is an interpretation of the French symbolist painter Gustave Moreau's 1864 painting Oedipus and the Sphinx.[2][3][4]

It is pointed out in the book Enchanting David Bowie (2015 Bloomsbury eds. Toija Cinque, Christopher More, Sean Edmond) that the album cover artwork by Guy Peellaert for the rock star's 1974 album Diamond Dogs possesses striking similarities to the painting.[5]

The painting is in the permanent collection of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium in Brussels.[6]


  1. ^ "Classics-Art 300 Lectures 18–19 | Dr. David Soren, Regents Professor".
  2. ^ "The Caresses (The Sphinx) | painting by Khnopff". Encyclopedia Britannica.
  3. ^ Cole, Brendan (2009). "Nature and the Ideal in Khnopff's Avec Verhaeren: Un Ange and Art, or the Caresses". The Art Bulletin. 91 (3): 325–342 – via JSTOR.
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