The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Hercules and the Hydra's head
  • School of Giambologna (1524 - 1608)
  • Hercules and the Hydra's head
  • Augsburg, Germany
  • mid 17th century
  • Statuette
  • Ivory and wood, ebonised
  • Height: 27.2 cm
  • S258
  • Sixteenth Century Gallery
Further Reading
  • This statuette may have been made in Augsburg in the mid seventeenth century. The second of Hercules’s twelve labours was to slay the seven-headed hydra, a water snake which was ravaging the countryside of Lerna, near Argos. The statuette shows Hercules resting his foot on one of the hydra’s heads. His right hand rests on his club which is draped with the skin of the Nemean Lion, which Hercules had overcome in his first labour. The design is a distant variant of The Farnese Hercules, a late Roman marble discovered c.1546 (now in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples).