The Labors of Hercules: Hercules Strangling the Nemean Lion

Sebald Beham1548

The Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland, United States

Hercules uses his bare hands to strangle the lion that terrorized the people of Nemea. The beast was invulnerable to his weapons, which Hercules propped against the nearby tree. In art, Hercules often appears wearing the pelt of the Nemean lion, an identifying symbol that recalls this legend and that characterizes the hero’s strength and fearlessness.

Beham was one of several German printmakers referred to today as the “Little Masters.” They established their artistic prowess by engraving remarkably small prints, appealing to collectors fascinated with miniature objects and curiosities.

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  • Title: The Labors of Hercules: Hercules Strangling the Nemean Lion
  • Creator: Hans Sebald Beham (German, 1500-1550)
  • Date Created: 1548
  • Type: Print
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1950.469
  • Medium: engraving
  • Department: Prints
  • Culture: Germany, 16th century
  • Credit Line: Mr. and Mrs. Lewis B. Williams Collection
  • Collection: PR - Engraving
  • Accession Number: 1950.469

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