Hercules, Italian or North School of the 18th century


Italian or North School of the 18th century


Pen, black ink, gray wash and white reheightened on blue paper. framed with black ink.

433 x 285 mm – 17 1/16 x 11 1/4 in.


This great sheetf, of remarkable quality of execution, represents the Greek demigod Héraclès, son of Zeus, designated by the Romans under the name of Hercules. A particularly famous hero of Greek and Roman mythology because of his strength and courage, he achieved many exploits including Twelve Works.

This vigor and bravery attributed to Hercules are perfectly highlighted in our drawing by the large drape with which it is coated. His bearded face, crowned with abundant unruly hair, reflects great energy and underlines the voluntary nature which he has shown. His muscular left arm holds the club – his attribute – which enabled him to accomplish his famous exploits. The right arm raised, hand extended in the protective position, seems to refer to one of the virtues attributed to the hero, that of spreading the dangers.

The massive silhouette of the hero is surrounded by an incisive stroke of the pen while the volumes of the drape are formed by large flaps of the gray wash enhanced with white gouache accentuating the monumental rendering. The way to create depth, by alternating the gray and light zones in the treatment of the folds falling into a waterfall, could suggest that it is a project for a sculpture.


Condition report – Perfect state of conservation.

Framing options

Pas de cadre, Cadre Louis XVI plat Or (4cm), Cadre Louis XVI plat Noir et Or (4cm), Cadre plat (4cm) teinté ébène, Cadre inversé (3,3 cm) teinté ébène, Cadre Louis XVI or (3cm)