The bust is generally a Woman´s; but in some cases it is a Ram head. The Sphinx is the guardian of temples and tombs, in front of which it is frequently ranged in avenues. In the Roman period: wings are added, probably through Assyrian influence; and the crouching position is sometimes exchanged for the half-erect. The Renascence uses Sphinxes in painting (as double sphinx also, with a single head and double body), and in free shapes as fire dogs, &c. The Barocco period adorns gardens and portals with crouching Sphinxes, (the castle garden at Schwetzingen contains a considerable number).
Centaurs are inmginary wild monsters, with the fore part of a Man and the hinder part of a Horse. Among the Greeks, the Centaur originally synnbolised the Thessalian race of equestrian. renown. Mythology recounts their struggles with the Lapithae. Later delineations, such as the mural paintings of Pompeii, depict the Centaurs less wild, tamed to the service of Dionysos, and sporting with Amorini and Bacchantes. The decorative capabilities of these fantastic figures has ensured them renewed application in later styles; and they are sometimes used in modern decoration.