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Hercules and the Stymphalian Birds

1955 Paul Manship Born: St. Paul, Minnesota 1885 Died: New York, New York 1966 gilded bronze on marble base 9 x 4 1/4 x 2 3/4 in. (22.9 x 10.8 x 7.0 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Bequest of Paul Manship 1966.47.72 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 49A

Luce Center Label

Paul Manship modeled many sculptures of Hercules, the son of Zeus and the mortal Alcmena. Zeus’s wife, Queen Hera, was jealous of Hercules and tormented him so much that he murdered his own family in a fit of insanity. As punishment, he was sentenced to serve twelve labors for his cousin and enemy, Eurystheus. These included strangling the Nemean lion, whose skin was impenetrable, destroying the many-headed Hydra, and stealing the belt from the Amazon queen Hippolyte. His final labor was to capture Cerberus, a three-headed dog from the kingdom of the dead. Hercules had many more adventures after these tasks were completed, including stealing the Delphic tripod from his half-brother Apollo, and killing the giant Antaeus. Antaeus gained strength every time he touched his mother, the earth, so Hercules defeated him by lifting him high above his head.


Animal - bird

Figure male

Mythology - classical - Hercules


metal - bronze

stone - marble

About Paul Manship

Born: St. Paul, Minnesota 1885 Died: New York, New York 1966

More works in the collection by
Paul Manship