Hercules Killing the Mares of Diomedes

A work made of pen and black ink, with brush and black wash, over graphite, on cream laid paper, laid down on ivory laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of pen and black ink, with brush and black wash, over graphite, on cream laid paper, laid down on ivory laid paper.

Date:

1800/05

Artist:

Henry Fuseli
Swiss, active in England, 1741-1825

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.

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Prints and Drawings

Artist

Henry Fuseli

Title

Hercules Killing the Mares of Diomedes

Origin

England

Date

1800–1805

Medium

Pen and black ink, with brush and black wash, over graphite, on cream laid paper, laid down on ivory laid paper

Dimensions

504 × 386 mm

Credit Line

The Leonora Hall Gurley Memorial Collection

Reference Number

1922.2152

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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