- Museum number
Armoured knight (Hercules?) fighting wild men in a wood, with deer in the background.
Pen and black ink with grey and pink wash
- Production date
- 1551 (circa)
Height: 181 millimetres
Width: 218 millimetres (Corners of sheet have been rounded)
- Curator's comments
- This drawing was identified by Edmund Schilling as a key example of the skill of Lucas Cranach the Younger as a draughtsman. It is connected to a series of paintings of the exploits of Hercules, commissioned by Duke Moritz of Saxony for the castle at Dresden. Two of the paintings, both dated 1551, 'The sleeping Hercules approached by pygmies' and 'Hercules fighting the pygmies', both of which show wild men and deer in the background, are on long term loan to the public gallery at Weimar. The pygmies are shown as wild men of a type traditionally seen in German art, see, for example, those on the exterior of a painted wooden case of a gold set of scales, dated 1497, in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg ( R. Kahsnitz in 'Gothic and Renaissance Art in Nuremberg 1300-1550', exh.cat New York and Nuremberg, 1986, no.77); and the ornament print engraved by Israhel van Meckenem (Lehrs 624).
Lit: R. Schilling (ed) 'Die von Edmund Schilling gesammelten Zeichnungen', published privately, Edgware, 1982, p.63 no. 24; J. Rowlands 'German Drawings from a private collection', exh.cat London and Nuremberg, 1984, p.51 no.47 (for earlier lit); Helga Hoffmann, 'Kunstsammlungen zu Weimar: die deutschen Gemälde des XVI Jahrhunderts', 1990, p.75, under no.26; K. Kolb in 'Cranach: Gemälde aus Dresden', exhibition catalogue, Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz, 2005, edited by H. Marx and I. Mössinger, p.419, under cat. no 33.2, fig.184 (incorrectly as private collection).
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1953 London, Royal Academy, Old Master Drawings, no.233
1974 Dresden, Die Malerfamilie Cranach, no.213
1974 Basel, Lucas Cranach, no.490
1984 Feb-Sept, London, Washington and Nuremberg, German Drawings
1997-8 Sept-Jan, BM, Schilling Bequest
2000-1 Dec-Feb, BM Great Court, Human Image
2001 May-Sept. BM Recent Acquisitions 1996-2001
2003-4 Dec-April, BM, NACF exhibition
2012 London, BM, Shakespeare
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Sir John Philipps' book-plate is on the verso of the old mount; he was the last descendant of the Philipps family who sold the inherited collection to the dealer, H.M. Calmann in the 1940s.
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number