Inventory number
P02043
Author
Rubens, Peter Paul
Title
Hercules and Cerberus
Chronology
1636 - 1637
Technique
Oil
Support
Panel
Dimensions
28 cm x 31,6 cm
School
Flemish
Theme
Mythology
On display
No
Provenance
Donación María Dionisia Vives y Zires, duquesa viuda de Pastrana, 1889.

The mythological hero fights against the fearful three-headed dog that guards the Underworld while two figures, possibly the Underworld's titular gods, Pluto and Proserpina, watch the scene in terror.

Rubens was directly inspired by Ovid's Metamorphoses in his depiction of this test of Hercules, though it is also described in other classical texts, such as Homer's Iliad and Odyssey.

This is one of the most expressive of all the sketches made for the projected decoration of the Torre de la Parada. It was developed on canvas on several occasions by at least three of Rubens' assistants.

 
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