Mar 1, 2016
Dec 2, 2009

Hercules and the Nemean Lion

Hercules and the Nemean Lion

c. 1898

Henri-Arthur Lefort des Ylouses

(French, 1846–1912)


Sheet: 59.8 x 26.2 cm (23 9/16 x 10 5/16 in.); Image: 59.6 x 25.7 cm (23 7/16 x 10 1/8 in.)

Gift of John Bonebrake 2009.526



Lefort des Ylouses used a combination of techniques to achieve the rich surface and variety of textures seen in Hercules and the Nemean Lion. Some lines, including outlines of forms, were bitten very deeply on the plate so that when printed, the paper was embossed for a three-dimensional, sculptural effect. The pattern on the rock beneath Hercules’s feet was obtained by putting a roughly textured paper on top of the etching ground and running the plate through the press, while the fine parallel lines in the sky are engraved. After the plate was inked, the artist carefully wiped its surface, leaving some areas dark brown and others pale beige. The Nemean lion was a vicious monster in Greek mythology. It survived because its golden fur was impervious to attack and its claws were exceedingly sharp. Hercules killed the Nemean lion by stunning it with his club and using his immense strength to strangle it to death.

See also
PR - Gypsograph
Type of artwork: 

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