Hercules with the Nemean Lion

Ercole e il leone nemeo, c. 1506-08 (carboncino e punta metallica su carta bianca) (1505/1508) by Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)Musei Reali

The design is inspired by the first of the Twelve Labors of Hercules, the mythical quest in which the hero managed to kill the invulnerable lion that tormented the inhabitants of Nemea.

The drawing depicts Hercules, seen from the back, with a club in his hands...

...and with the lion tamed and crouched at his feet. It was executed by Leonardo da Vinci between 1505 and 1508 approximately.

It is probably a project for a statue that was supposed to be placed near Michelangelo's colossal David in front of the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence.

It was drawn in charcoal and retraced with a metal point, clumsily and certainly not by Leonardo, for transposition onto another sheet:...

...this is confirmed by the charcoal background on the verso, destined to leave the mark of the tracing.

The right arm is brought back slightly with a grip reminiscent of the sword of the sheet for Anghiari, while the left arm is bent forward.

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