Oedipus at Colonus


Jean Antoine Théodore Giroust ( French, 1753 - 1817 )

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General Description

In this scene from Sophocles’ play of the same name, the blind king Oedipus is nearing the end of his life and stops to rest in the city of Colonus. His son Polynices, along with his daughters Antigone and Ismene, beg the king to return to Thebes, the city he once ruled and where he had been exiled for killing his father and marrying his mother. Polynices pleads for help defeating his vengeful brother, who took control of Thebes after their father’s departure. With this painting, Jean Antoine Théodore Giroust earned admission into the French Royal Academy. It shows his mastery of the Neoclassical style, which is characterized by strong lines, vivid colors, and depictions of Greek and Roman mythological themes.

Excerpt from

Nicole Myers, DMA label copy, 2018.

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