Hercules kills Diomedes

Etienne Delaune French

Not on view

Engraving, part of a set of 12 mythological scenes, created by Etienne Delaune in Strasbourg in 1573. Each scene is presented inside an oval frame made up of two thin ovals, which contains an inscription for the scene. On the first plane of this engraving, Hercules kills Diomedes, king of the Thracia. On the second plane, two of his mares (out of four, named Podargos, Lampon, Xanthos, and Deinos) eat the corpses of his men, which have been placed into their hay rack. Symbolically, Hercules terraces the vice that Diomedes represents (luxury and sumptuosity), an interpretation that is reinforced by the inscription. This idea might also suggest a political allusion and moralising idea against luxuty, especially as the presence of the crown exposes very clearly his status as king.

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