Traditionally, a sphinx is a recumbent lion with a human head. Beuys's version is a strange combination of animal and human, yet despite the prominent ears, sharp teeth and trace of a muzzle, it still retains a human look. The lines which surround the figure are similar to magnetic field lines, and this magnetism would 'electrify' the sphinx. Although Beuys's work of the 1960s and 1970s is dominated by 'actions' and installations, drawing remained an important way for the artist to capture and develop his ideas. He regarded drawing as being at the basis of all his art.