- Museum number
Hercules; standing turned to right, looking over his right shoulder, his left arm on his hip and his right arm on a club, two putti holding a laurel wreath above his head
Red chalk with some black chalk
- Production date
Height: 474 millimetres
Width: 320 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Derived from the Farnese Hercules (Naples Museum), which was discovered in 1540, and remained in Rome until 1786.
The 1990 Treasures Exhibition label text:
The figure is based on the famous antique statue, the Farnese Hercules. The purpose of the drawing is unknown, but it may date from the period c.1615-22, when Rubens treated the same subject in two other works.
Bequeathed by Henry Vaughan
Literature: L. Burchard-R.A. d'Hulst, 'Rubens Drawings', 1963, pp.292-93, no.188, fig.188. C. White, 'P.P. Rubens', p.35 and 37, fig.54.
Rowlands, Rubens: Drawings and Sketches, BMP, 1977
Rubens has based this figure of Hercules on his studies of the famous antique statue found in Rome in 1540 and known as the Farnese Hercules. It seems most likely that Rubens derived this Hercules from some sort of copy in his own collection of antiques. Formerly the drawing was thought to be an early work but this view has been abandoned in more recent years, as the drawing can be most convincingly linked with works of the period 1615-22.
The subject of 'Hercules victorious over Discord' occurs twice elsewhere in Rubens's work. The first occurence is in an oil sketch of about 1615-18 in Rotterdam, and in the second, Hercules is on the right of the border of the 'Portrait of Charles de Longueval, Count de Bucqot' in Leningrad. From a letter of 19 August 1621 from Robert Schilders to Peiresc we know that this modello was executed during July and the first weeks of August 1621. A very similar genius to the one on the left of this drawing is to be found above on the left in 'Marie de Médicis as Bellona' of about 1625, in the Louvre.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1977, BM, 'Rubens drawings and sketches', no.72
1990, BM, 'Treasures Collection' (no cat.)
1992 Mar-Jun, Canberra, Australian National Gallery, Rubens & Italy, no.75
1992 Jun-Aug, Melbourne, NG of Victoria, Rubens & Italy, no.75
1999/00 Nov-Jan, Sydney, Art Gallery of NSW, 'Drawing the Figure'
2000 Mar-Jun, Rome, Palazzo delle Esposizione, 'Roma Antica e Moderna..'
2004 Mar-Jun, Lille, Palais des Beaux-Arts, 'Rubens - Universel'
2009/10 Nov-Jan BM, P&D, 'Rubens Drawings' (no cat.)
2012/13, Nov-Apr, Bonn, Treasures
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number