The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of July 23, 2024

Hercules Driving Envy from the Temple of the Muses

Hercules Driving Envy from the Temple of the Muses

1522–24
(Italian, c. 1479–c. 1532)
(Italian, 1481–1536)
Sheet: 29.5 x 22.5 cm (11 5/8 x 8 7/8 in.)
Catalogue raisonné: Bartsch 12 (XII.133)
Location: not on view

Did You Know?

There are two versions of the Hercules Driving Envy from the Temple of the Muses composition. The CMA chiaroscuro woodcut corresponds to version B, in which figures are modeled using less cross-hatching and more highlights in tone blocks.

Description

The term chiaroscuro combines the Italian words chiaro (light) and scuro (dark). Invented to emulate drawings with light and dark pigments on tinted paper, the printing technique uses multiple woodblocks to layer different tones of color. Here, Ugo da Carpi—the progenitor of the chiaroscuro woodcut in Italy—used two blocks in black and gray on a beige paper.

In this allegory, not linked to a particular myth, Hercules applies his brute force in the service of art and knowledge. Pointing toward the archway, Apollo banishes the vice of Avarice from the Temple of the Muses. A personification of greed, Avarice carries a hoard of treasure in her arms as Hercules, a character of virtuous strength, chases her out. Apollo sits next to the war goddess Athena, identified by her helmet, shield, and spear. Here she represents wisdom, and fulfills a civilizing role as patroness of the arts.
  • ?-1925
    Ralph King [1855-1926], Cleveland Heights, OH
    March 24, 1925
    The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  • Gods and Heroes: Ancient Legends in Renaissance Art. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (August 26-December 31, 2017).
    Against the Grain: Woodcuts from the Collection. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (August 17-November 9, 2003).
    Mannerism: Italian, French, and Netherlandish Prints, 1520-1620. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (August 3-October 26, 1997).
    Printing in Color. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (September 10-November 17, 1985).
  • {{cite web|title=Hercules Driving Envy from the Temple of the Muses|url=false|author=Ugo da Carpi, Balthasar Peruzzi|year=1522–24|access-date=23 July 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

Source URL:

https://www.clevelandart.org/art/1925.443