The Labors of Hercules: Hercules Crushing Antaeus

The Labors of Hercules: Hercules Crushing Antaeus


Hans Sebald Beham

(German, 1500-1550)


Mr. and Mrs. Lewis B. Williams Collection 1950.468

Catalogue raisonné: Pauli 103



The giant Antaeus was invincible as long as he touched the earth, which gave him his overwhelming strength. In this scene, Hercules cleverly heaves Antaeus off the ground to weaken and crush him. This tale was especially popular during the Renaissance, when it was perceived as an allegory of moral strength triumphiant over earthly desires.

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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