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.
Hercules defeating the Centaurs
AERVMNAE HERCVLIS (The labors of Hercules)
v of 5 states
5.0 x 7.8 cm image/sheet
Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r. corner, [incised plate] "15 HSB [artist's monogram] 42".
Not on display
Shown in 3 exhibitions
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
Referenced in 1 publication
Nicholas Draffin, Piety and Paganism, Sydney, 1991, 12.