'Oedipus and the Sphinx After Ingres' is another work showing Bacon’s fascination with Ingres. Bacon often used the French Neo-Classical artist as inspiration for his works.
The theme of Oedipus and the Sphinx, which Ingres had made paintings of (now displayed at the National Gallery in London and at the Louvre), captivated Bacon, who was strongly influenced by the work of Sigmund Freud and Friedrich Nietzsche. Both thinkers explored the myth of Oedipus from new, innovative points of view, shedding light on its psychological implications.
Like Ingres, Bacon champions geometrical harmony and archaism, both characteristics that aspire to a synthesis of the ideal human figure.