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Sunday, May 12, 2019

The sleeping Hercules/the awakened Hercules and the Pygmies (Lucas Cranach the Younger (1551))

On his way to accomplish his tenth labour, the stealing of Geryon's cattle, Hercules arrived in Libya, where exhausted after a battle with the giant Antaeus he fell asleep. While sleeping he was attacked by pygmies, who were however unable to harm him. Lucas Cranach the Younger transposes the myth to a Saxon setting in the second half of the sixteenth century. Accordingly he depicts the pygmies as small figures in contemporary military clothing and heavily armed.

Image source: Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden

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