About this artwork
In classical Greek mythology, Hercules is assigned twelve superhuman labors to complete. The eighth of these is to capture the man-eating horses of Diomedes, king of Thrace. In most accounts, Hercules subdues and steals the mares, killing Diomedes and feeding him to his own horses. Fuseli has chosen the less familiar narrative, in which Hercules kills the mares as well. The defeated Diomedes can be seen collapsing on the left. The hero’s young companion, Abderus, killed by the mares, lies on the right.
Hercules’s hypermuscularity is rendered with bold and rapid strokes of the pen assisted by sparely applied, volume-defining gray wash.
- Currently Off View
- Prints and Drawings
- Henry Fuseli
- Hercules Killing the Mares of Diomedes
- England (Artist's nationality)
- Pen and black ink, with brush and black wash, over graphite, on cream laid paper, laid down on ivory laid paper
- 50.4 × 38.6 cm (19 7/8 × 15 1/4 in.)
- The Leonora Hall Gurley Memorial Collection