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The Female Body and its Enigmas: The Sphinx in Franz Stuck's Painting

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posted on 26.12.2018 by Enéias Farias Tavares

AbstractThis essay discusses the problem of female representation in the arts at the end of the nineteenth century. Therefore, I will start from a reading Bram Dijkstra's Idols of Perversity (1986). Following, I will reflect on how female body imagery is associated with the meeting of Oedipus and the Sphinx, female monster that offers puzzles and presents a hybrid body configuration. The stereotype of this demonized woman, however, begins to be rethought in the same century, becoming the Sphinx itself and its corporeal constitution a puzzle to be researched. My analysis for reading this change in sensitivity in Western arts will focus on three different paintings by the German artist Franz Stuck on the theme of the Sphinx. Therefore, I will use, besides Dijkstra, reflections by Connell, Edmunds, Paglia and Goex

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