The Enchantress (The Sphinx and The Poet)

This painting was inspired by the “Book of Songs”, written by the German poet Heinrich Heine, as you inspect the painting you will see a young poet being embraced by the sphinx into a kiss, however it also portrays how the man is wounded by the sphinx’s paws.

Heinrich Lossow proved his talent by avoiding such violent scene of the paw embrace and instead he surrounded his characters with the sweet thrill of romanticism. Dressing the young poet in a Rococo garb. It should be mentioned that Heinrich Lossow made the Rococo style his domain and go to style in his paintings.

Lossow painted the Enchantress when he was 28 years old. In this painting, the young poet falls under the erotic spell of a granite garden sphinx, locking one another in a passionate embrace.

The most eye catching feature of the enchantress has to be lossow’s mastery of light. the whole scene is engulfed in the moonlight with its pale whites and blues. We also have to mention the shadow effect of the leaves on the sphinx.

It must also be added that the enormous amount of vegetation and moonlit gate in the background would make you confused about whether this is a garden or a cemetery.

Perhaps the most interesting part of this painting is the male figure who is the one being embraced by the female sphinx and not the opposite.

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