Movement in Mythological Art: Greek mythology art, and the constant movement captured in it.To showcase this I've selected different depictions of Hercules Moving through Art as he was one of my favorite mythological characters as a child.
Pitcher with Herakles Wrestling Triton, Chiusi Painter (Greek, active 520 - 510 B.C.), about 520 - 510 B.C., From the collection of: The J. Paul Getty Museum
Here a vase displays Hercules wrestling with Triton who is the god of the ocean. The vase's main color is orange, maybe the original clay color, while the image is set in black and off white colors really making it stand out. Triton's tail flows along the vase and the mid action shot of them takes up almost the whole vase.
This black and white drawing shows Hercules standing in a powerful stance, overlooking his surroundings. Every muscle is defined. Although he is still the picture itself is still alive with movement with other men in the background in midst of fighting their own battles. The clouds and ground are drawn with wavy lines as if there is a breeze blowing.
In this statue Hercules is in mid-throw of Lychas. The shiny black material bounces light all over the place giving it life in unique way. Hercules flexed muscles and unnatural position tell you exactly what his next move is, and the expression on Lychas face shows you how he feels about it.
In this black and white drawing Hercules is right in the middle of breaking the Lion of Nemea's jaw, while in the background there is another scene of him skinning him. The actions drawn in the picture feed ones imagination and tell you a story with out words. Not only is there movement in the actions but the way the lions mane flows, and the detail in the tightening of the skin being pulled make you picture a scene rather then just see a moment.
In this picture the artist shows Hercules in mid step carrying two columns of Gaza. His size is to be noted as almost the same size of each column so in this perspective he is a large man. His torn cloth blows in the wind around him as he walks with one column held to his side and the other one balanced across his shoulder. This picture is given movement from both the cloth blowing and his body positioned to take another step.
In this drawing Hercules is in mid swing of a club aimed at Cerberus. His stance also indicates his movement. The sky is full of what seems like rain or could it be smoke and fire? Cerberus is growling at Hercules who is also wearing the skin from his battle with the Lion Nemea.
Another depiction of Hercules fighting Nemea the Lion, and also in midst of breaking Nemea's jaw. A little farther in this picture then the first photo of Hercules fighting Nemea by Heinrich Aldegrever as the lions jaw is in a very unnatural state. One detail I thought brought more life to this picture is how Nemea is scratching at Hercule's with his back paw a life like reflex.
Hercules and the Hydra and Hercules and Anteo, Antonio del Pollaiolo, Around 1475, From the collection of: Uffizi Gallery
Another depiction of Hercules raising a club to Hydra. This time he also chokes one of its heads at the same time. This picture displays movement as the skin of Nemea blows back as he prepares to take the deadly swing. His size is bigger then Hydra and they both seem to soar over the plans underneath them.
Salt Cellar with Episodes from the Life of Hercules, Unidentified Artist, c. 1550, From the collection of: Harvard Art Museums
This beautiful Salt Cellar shows scenes of Hercules in black, blue and white colors. The ones pictured are of him carrying columns of Gaza, this time bot balanced on his shoulders, and him battling Hydra. This time the chaos of Hydrais embodied as its heads are all twisted and tangled.
In this last photo Hercules is about to grab Mount Cerynea by its antlers, they flow across the paper with lots of long wavy lines especially in the background. The Mount is halfway in the air as he takes a leap.
Credits: All media
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