Results 1 1137
521 Previous Next

Medallion with Hercules and Antaeus
Explore Object
Creative Commons License

Medallion with Hercules and Antaeus

Description Provenance Credit
Description The exploits of the ancient hero Hercules were valued as exemplifying great physical strength and virtuous purpose combined with the occasional human failing. They were popular at the French court, because the royal family claimed the hero as an ancestor. Of Hercules's Twelve Labors, undertaken as penance after he killed his children in a fit of madness, the most often depicted was his triumph over the Libyan giant Antaeus, who drew his stupendous strength from contact with his mother, the earth-goddess Gaea. Here, in a composition based on an engraving after a drawing attributed to Raphael, Hercules, wearing a lion's skin, lifts the giant off the ground and crushes him. The crudely drawn beasts in the corners represent the Lernaean Hydra, the Cretan Bull, the three-headed dog Cerberus, and the Nemean Lion that Hercules also overcame in his Labors.
Provenance Léon Decloux [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Sale, Paris, April 27-8, 1891; Dr. Emile Allain, Paris [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Seligmann Brothers, Paris [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, May 16, 1906, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1906

Download Image Add to Collection Creative Commons License

1573 (Renaissance)
painted enamel on copper
Accession Number
Framed H: 14 3/4 x W: 12 in. (37.5 x 30.5 cm); Diam of roundel: 8 5/16 in. (21.1 cm)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


    Thumbnail: Medallion with Hercules and Antaeus
    Zoom Out Zoom In Back to Details  
    Full Size: Medallion with Hercules and Antaeus