Hercules Staying the Course of the River Alpheus by Francisco de Zurbarán

Hercules Staying the Course of the River Alpheus by Francisco de Zurbaran

Hercules Staying the Course of the River Alpheus
1634
Baroque
Oil on canvas
Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, Spain

Zubarán depicts a near-naked Hercules stood on a rocky outcrop with his left arm resting on a walking stick. One of a series of ten paintings depicting the labours of Hercules, a series of punishments tasked to the god in order to return to the good grace of the king. In this, the fifth labour, Hercules is forced to clean the stables of King Augeas and uses his cunning intellect to alter the direction of the Alpheus River to flow through the stables, washing them out in one pass.

Francisco de Zurbaran

Francisco de Zurbaran
Baroque
Born: 17 November 1598, Fuente de Cantos, Spain
Nationality: Spanish
Died: 27 August 1664, Madrid, Spain

Zubarán was a painter, best known for his religious paintings of monks, nuns, and martyrs, and for his still-lifes. He earned the nickname the ‘Spanish Caravaggio’ with his forceful use of chiaroscuro. Zubarán is the father of the painter Juan de Zurbarán

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