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The story of the death of Hercules begins when Hercules and his wife, Deianeira, crossed a river. Hercules swam across leaving Deianeira in the hands of the centaur Nessus. Nessus tried to rape Deianeira so Hercules killed him with an arrow poisoned by the blood of the Hydra. The dying Nessus tricked Deianeira by telling her of a love potion which could be made from his blood. Later Hercules took a mistress so Deianeira made a shirt for Hercules and stained it with Nessus's blood in order to win back his love.
oil on canvas
66.1 x 50.9 cm
bequeathed by Sir John Williams, 1926