Hercules (Effects of Jealousy) (1498) by Albrecht Durer

Hercules (Effects of Jealousy) - Albrecht Durer - 1498

Artwork Information

TitleHercules (Effects of Jealousy)
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Hercules (Effects of Jealousy)

The engraving titled “Hercules (Effects of Jealousy)” was crafted by the esteemed Northern Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer in 1498. As a mythological painting, this work is executed in the medium of engraving and belongs to the Northern Renaissance art movement. Initially released to the world in 1498, this piece is presently housed in a private collection.

The artwork is a richly detailed black and white engraving that depicts a scene featuring multiple figures, with a strong classical theme consistent with the mythological subject of Hercules. In the foreground, a muscular male figure—presumably Hercules—is entangled in a struggle with two other figures. One of these figures appears to be a man with an animal skin draped around him, and the other is a woman caught in a dynamic pose. Hercules, noteworthy for his heroic physique, seems to be caught off-guard by the attack.

In the middle ground, there’s another male figure, almost hidden among the trees, who is discharging an arrow from his bow. The landscape stretches into the background, showing a pastoral setting that includes rolling hills, possibly a castle or manor house in the distance, and another figure on the far right who appears to be running away or possibly towards the scene of action. The intricate details of the trees, the rendering of the landscape, and the expressions and movements of the figures, all exemplify the precision and skill of Dürer’s engraving technique.

The interplay of characters and the implied violence within the piece suggest a narrative moment capturing the effects of jealousy, as the title suggests, involving figures from classical mythology. The complexity of the composition and the fine details indicate Dürer’s mastery of the engraving process, allowing him to convey texture, depth, and emotion within this celebrated work.

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