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Hercules and Cacus

1588
(Dutch, 1558–1617)
Sheet: 42.8 x 33.9 cm (16 7/8 x 13 3/8 in.); Image: 41 x 33.2 cm (16 1/8 x 13 1/16 in.)
Catalogue raisonné: Hollstein 373 (VIII.122)
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Location: not on view

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Description

This chiaroscuro woodcut portrays Hercules’s heroic battle against Cacus, a murderous, flame-breathing giant. Cacus has fallen onto the bones of his victims. As a last defense, he blows fire at Hercules, who heaves his club overhead to strike a deadly blow. Goltzius portrayed the lead-up to the fight in the background, where Hercules rolls away a boulder at the cavern’s entrance, setting free a small herd of cows that Cacus had stolen. The vivid color combination of yellow and olive green helps energize this dramatic moment.
Hercules and Cacus

Hercules and Cacus

1588

Hendrick Goltzius

(Dutch, 1558–1617)
Netherlands, 16th century

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