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ID number:  BIRBI-55.20
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Artist / Maker:  Andreani, Andrea (c. 1560-1623)
Title / Object name:  Hercules and the Nemean Lion
Object type:  Print
Place made:  Mantua/Rome
Culture:  Italian
Date made:  about 1520
Materials:  Chiaroscuro woodcut
Measurements:  250 x 188 mm
Provenance:  Purchased from Messrs. Craddock & Barbard, November 1955

Hercules is perhaps the best known classical hero. Killing the Nemean Lion was the first of his Twelve Labours, a series of challenges which atoned for the murder of his wife and sons, and demonstrated the triumph of Good over Evil. Hercules’s club lays discarded in the foreground, as it took manual strength, rather than weapons, to defeat the animal which was terrorising the region. The gnarled trees in the background echo Hercules’s twisted musculature and the tightly cropped composition is focused entirely on the fight. Woodcut After Raphael.

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