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Collection

An image of Hercules fighting against the Centaurs by Hans Beham

Hans Beham

(Germany 1500 – 1550)

Title
Hercules fighting against the Centaurs
Other titles:
Hercules defeating the Centaurs
Year
1542
Media category
Print
Materials used
engraving
Edition
iv/5
Dimensions

5.0 x 7.8 cm image/sheet

Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r. corner, [incised plate] "15 HSB [artist's monogram] 42".
Credit
Purchased 1977
Accession number
10.1977
Location
Not on display
Further information

Beham was one of the Little Masters, a small band of Nuremberg artists who came under the influence of Dürer. Their engravings are tiny yet exquisitely crafted and finely detailed. The subject-matter derives from the twelve labours of Hercules. During the fourth labour Hercules visits the centaur Pholus, who had been given a cask of wine by Dionysus. Against Pholus’s wishes, Hercules opens the cask. The scent of the wine sends the centaurs into a frenzy and they attack Hercules. In this print, the hero receives assistance from other men, a detail of Beham’s own invention.

Bibliography (1)

Nicholas Draffin, Piety and Paganism, Sydney, 1991, 12.

Exhibition history (3)

Piety and Paganism, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 13 Jul 1991–29 Sep 1991

German Old Master Prints, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 03 Mar 1998–16 Jun 1998

Old Europe: Prints & drawings from the collection 1500-1800, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 03 Jun 2006–06 Aug 2006