The Labors of Hercules: Hercules Defeating the Centaurs

The Labors of Hercules: Hercules Defeating the Centaurs


Hans Sebald Beham

(German, 1500-1550)


Mr. and Mrs. Lewis B. Williams Collection 1950.457

Catalogue raisonné: Pauli 105.98 ; Bartsch VIII.157.96



Labeled ARUMNAE HERCVLIS, meaning “Labors of Hercules,” this is the title page of Beham’s suite of 12 tiny prints depicting larger-than-life stories of the mighty Hercules. The battle scene may refer to a story in which Hercules slays the centaur Eurytion, bridegroom to a young girl who was previously Hercules’s lover. The centaur could also allude to Nessus, a centaur who cunningly plots Hercules’s undoing, depicted later in the series.

Beham was one of several German printmakers referred to today as the “Little Masters.” They established their artistic prowess by engraving remarkably small prints, appealing to collectors fascinated with miniature objects and curiosities.

See also
PR - Engraving
Type of artwork: 

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Is something not working on this page? Please email

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email