Hercules and the Hydra

  • Paul Manship, Hercules and the Hydra, 1964, gilded bronze on marble base, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Bequest of Paul Manship, 1966.47.71

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.

Title
Hercules and the Hydra
Artist
Date
1964
On View
Dimensions
8 1/2 x 4 x 3 in. (21.6 x 10.1 x 7.6 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Bequest of Paul Manship

Mediums
Mediums Description
gilded bronze on marble base
Classifications
Keywords
  • Mythology – classical – Hercules
  • Mythology – classical – hydra
  • Figure male
Object Number
1966.47.71
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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