Cranach - Hercules and Antaeus
Hercules and Antaeus
Lucas Cranach the Elder
Compton Verney, Warwickshire
17.06.2019 - 02:43
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CDA ID / Inventory NumberGB_CVW_0381N
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FR (1978) No.FR268
Hercules and Antaeus[Compton Verney, revised 2011]
Lucas Cranach the Elder [Compton Verney, revised 2011] [Exhib. Cat. Brussels 2010, 152, No. 88] [Exhib. Cat. Hamburg 2003, 180, No. 71]
about 1530[Compton Verney, revised 2011] [Exhib. Cat. Hamburg 2003, No. 71] [Friedländer, Rosenberg 1978, 122, No. 268]
about 1520-1530[Exhib. Cat. Brussels 2010, 152]
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Owner / Repository / Location:
OwnerCompton Verney, Warwickshire
RepositoryCompton Verney, Warwickshire
Dimensions of support: 26.5 x 17.5 cm [Compton Verney, revised 2011] [Exhib. Cat. Brussels 2010, 152]
Painting on wood [Compton Verney, revised 2011]
Signature / Date:
Artist's insignia at the top right: winged serpent with elevated wings facing left
This painting, one of only two known versions of the subject by Cranach, depicts an episode in the Twelve Labours of Hercules: the fight to the death between Greek hero Hercules and the giant Antaeus, son of Poseidon and Gaia, gods of the Sea and Earth. This adventure occurred on Hercules' journey to complete his eleventh task. Antaeus drew all his strength from the earth (his mother), and was thereby able to defeat all his previous opponents. Hercules realised this and, understanding the secret of the giant's invincibility, lifted him off the ground, crushing him to death. FURTHER NOTES: Although Cranach made other paintings from the myth of Hercules, this painting is not known to be part of a larger set. [Compton Verney, Warwickshire 2011]
- A. S. Drey, Munich
- 17-18 June 1936, sold at Paul Gaupe, Berlin. Price 3,100 Reichsmarks. Forced sale of liquidation stocks.
- 1937 Private collection, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
- Achibald Blomefield Russell, CVO, FSA (1879-1955), London
- 5 December 2002 purchased by the Galerie Neuse Kunsthandel, Bremen, Germany at the auction house Nagel, Stuttgart. (Sold Pursuant to a settlement agreement with the successors of A. S. Drey. This owner sold the painting at Sotheby's, 9 July, 2008).
- 2008 09.07 purchased by the Peter Moores Foundation from the Galerie Neuse Kunsthandel, Bremen, Germany (lot number 64, Sotheby's, London)

[Compton Verney, revised 2011]
[Exhib. Cat. Brussels 2010, 152]
Hamburg 2003, No. 71
Frankfurt , London 2007/2008, No. 109
Brussels, Paris 2010/2011, No. 88
Düsseldorf 2017, No. 136
Sources / Publications:
Reference on PageCatalogue NumberFigure/Plate
Exhib. Cat. Düsseldorf 2017236No. 136
Exhib. Cat. Paris 2011152No. 88
Aikema 201026Fig. 9, p. 27
Exhib. Cat. Brussels 2010152-15388p. 153
Hinz 200825-29Fig. 5
Auct. Cat. London 2008 ALot 64
Evans 200758
Exhib. Cat. Frankfurt 2007346-347109p. 347
Leithe-Jasper 2006145
Exhib. Cat. Hamburg 200375, 18071Pl. 71
Koepplin 2003 C162, fn. 11
Auct. Cat. Stuttgart 2002214Lot 593
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979123No. 268Fig. 268
Schade 197470Fig. 105
Posse 1943Fig. 92
Posse 1942Fig. 92
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1932219
Material / Technique:
  • Date: 01.10.2010
  • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
  • Infrared reflectography
  • Lucas Cranach the Elder - Compton Verney, Warwickshire - Hercules and Antaeus - Infrared Images
  • Underdrawing

    - the design was possibly fixed with a very diluted fluid medium and a brush

    - barely visible

    - binding for the final painted version; lines delineate contours and describe the essential details; possible representation of volume?

    - hardly any alterations made during the painting process to clearly define form


    - not possible

    [Smith, Sandner, Heydenreich, cda 2012]
    • photographed by: Gunnar Heydenreich
    • photographed by: Ingo Sandner