Title: Hercules and the Hydra
Artist: Antonio Del Pollaiolo
Location: Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy
Size: 5x7 in.
Medium: Tempera on Panel
Other sources: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/Herakles/hydra.html
Significance of the work:
Antonio Del Pollaiolo’s Hercules and the Hydra illustrates the second labor of Hercules. The legend claims that Hercules was ordered to kill the nine-headed Hydra. He did so by chopping off each head and asking his friend Iolus to burn the stumps so that new heads would not grow back. The final head was immortal, so after Hercules cut it off he buried deep in the ground. Hercules is often referred to as the mortal who became a god through great feats of strength and valor. He was the son of Zeus and a mortal mother, and his 12 labors earned him the privilege of ascending into the realm of the gods.