The Labors of Hercules: Hercules Dragging Cerberus from the Underworld

The Labors of Hercules: Hercules Dragging Cerberus from the Underworld


Hans Sebald Beham

(German, 1500-1550)


Mr. and Mrs. Lewis B. Williams Collection 1950.461

Catalogue raisonné: Pauli 104



Hercules descended into Hades, the underworld, to bring back Cerberus, the three-headed dog who guards the entrance. Pluto, god of the underworld, agreed to let Hercules take Cerberus as long as he used no weapons. In this version of the scene, Hercules has abanded his club and shield in favor of three leashes to drag Cerberus from the inferno.

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: 

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