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The classical hero Hercules is shown embracing his wife Deianira. Their seat is decorated with images of his heroic exploits including the defeat of the Nemean lion and his victory over Antaeus. Their erotic encounter, however, is doomed. Deianira sits on the silver cloak given to her by the evil centaur Nessus. When Hercules wears it he will be engulfed in flames and die. Gossaert visited Italy in 1508/1509.
oil on wood
H 36.8 x W 26.6 cm
Inscribed u.c.: HERCULES DYANIRA. Dated l.l.: 1517