Hercules Capturing Cerberus, From the Labors of Hercules, 1545

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The legendary strongman Hercules was born to the god Zeus and a mortal named Alcmena. This union so incensed Zeus’s wife Hera that she made life almost unbearable for the hero. Her ire resulted in him undertaking a series of tasks, known as the Twelve Labors of Hercules. Sebald Beham challenged his audience’s knowledge of the classical text, engraving three actual labors and nine scenes of Hercules’ exploits before and after his labors.

In the final labor, the hero must secure three-headed Cerberus, guard dog of the Underworld. Pluto, god of the Underworld, agreed to let Hercules take Cerberus if he could subdue him with his bare hands.

Hercules Capturing Cerberus, From the Labors of Hercules
Artist Life
Accession Number
D'Arenberg Collection, Lugt 567, Brussels and Nord-Kirchen. [David Tunick, New York; sold to Andrus]; John E. Andrus III, Wayzata, Minn.; by descent to his daughters, Elizabeth, Katie, and Julie; gave to MIA, 2015. Earlier provenances have been gathered, but further research will increase our knowledge of their histories.
Catalogue Raisonne
Pauli, Hollstein 104 i-ii/iii; Bartsch 100
Curator Approved

This record is from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator, so may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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