Surprisingly well balanced, and supporting himself on a rock that echoes the shape of his enormous bow, in this picture, Heracles performs one of his Twelve Labors. He must clear the region around Lake Stymphalia of the flesh-eating birds infesting its woods and attacking its people. The sculptor Antoine Bourdelle has accentuated his tensed muscles, emphasizing the hero's power and agility in managing to accomplish two endeavors at once—stretching his bow and gripping the rock. This sculpture, of which several casts were made, was an immediate success with the public. Its fame even led to it becoming the emblem of the Paris Olympic Games in 1924 and being reproduced in schoolchildren’s exercise books.


  • Title: Heracles Killing the Birds of Lake Stymphalia
  • Creator: Antoine Bourdelle
  • Date Created: 1924
  • Physical Dimensions: H (avec socle) 2.41 x L2.40 x P1.049
  • Provenance: Acquis de l'artiste en 1927
  • Medium: Partly gilded bronze

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