About this artwork
This is a highly finished study for a fresco mural of the same subject in the Palazzo Farnese in Rome. Hercules, the hero of Greek myth, is identified by his club, a lion’s hide, and the apple in his right hand. Though lifelike, the figure was not drawn from a live model but rather from statues available to the artist in Rome, especially an ancient Roman
sculpture of a reclining river god.
The blue paper creates a mid tone between the black and white chalks, granting Hercules a greater degree of volume and naturalism and dramatically enhancing Annibale Carracci’s fluid, masterful line.
On loan to The Morgan Library and Museum for Pure Drawing: Seven Centuries of Art from the Gray Collection
- Prints and Drawings
- Annibale Carracci
- Study of Hercules Resting, with Separate Studies of His Head and Foot (recto); Rectangular grid design (verso)
- Black chalk, heightened with white chalk, on blue laid paper
- 259 × 395 mm
- Gift of Richard and Mary L. Gray