Oedipus (his name, Oidipodes is inscribed), is dressed as a wayfarer and is seated, listening to the riddle formulated by the sphinx of Thebes (part of this is written, as if in a comic strip: kai tri[poun]), who devoured all those who did not know how to answer. Once the riddle is solved, the sphinx will kill itself. Oedipus will then unwittingly marry his mother, Jocasta queen of Thebes, after having previously encountered and killed Laius, unaware that this latter was his father. Thus the prophecy of the Oracle of Delphi is fulfilled, despite the efforts of both father and son to thwart it: Laius by exposing his infant son on a mountainside, and Oedipus by fleeing from Corinth and adoptive family.
On the exterior, satyrs are depicted in various activities, dancing drunkenly to the sound of the double flute; the scene was reproduced by an Etruscan ceramic painter in the “Rodin Goblet”, painted towards the end of the fifth or early fourth century B.C.
This is the eponymous vessel of the Painter of Oedipus, an Attic ceramist very close the style of Douris in his late period.