Fragment with the Triumph of Dionysos and the Labors of Herakles

Not on view

In the central medallion, Dionysos and his wife, Ariadne, ride in a chariot driven by a putto and drawn by panthers. Herakles, carrying a club, accompanies the couple. The ancient hero appears again in the frame, where his Twelve Labors are depicted. Although five of the framing scenes are lost, an identical square preserved in the collection of the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, allows this fragment to be reconstructed. Several of the labors are easily identifiable: Herakles capturing the Cretan bull, traveling to the underworld and returning with the three-headed dog Kerberos, taming the mares of Diomedes, and slaying the Lernaean hydra. Herakles is included among the bacchanalian thiase (followers of Dionysos), and, like Dionysos, he appears frequently in late Roman and early Byzantine art, particularly on textiles, silver, and ivory.

Fragment with the Triumph of Dionysos and the Labors of Herakles, Wool, linen; plain weave, tapestry weave

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