Hercules Strangling the Nemean Lion [after Raphael Sanzio, Italian (1483-1520)]
7 1/4 X 4 3/4 inches
Initialled in plate
Bartsch 287; The Illustrated Bartsch 287. Initialed in plate with the artist's monogram: "A.V."; dated in plate: "1528". Notation verso in pencil and ink: "[encircled] 1687 / Jeer / [unitelligible]ette 167". A fine impression in fine condition, trimmed within platemark.
The image illustrates the first of Hercules' twelve labors, set by his cousin King Eurystheus for killing his wife, Megara, and their three children in a fit of madness, induced by Hera. Hercules must slay the lion terrorizing the city of Nemea and bring back its skin. The Lion's skin was impenetrable, forcing him to strangle it. Hercules is often portrayed wearing its skin as a cloak.