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Hercules and the lion of Nemea (Louvre Museum, L 31 MN B909)

Hercules and the lion of Nemea
Herakles Nemean lion Louvre L31.jpg
ArtistDiosphos Painter
Year500 – 450 BCE
CatalogueL 31 (MN B909)
Dimensions25.7 cm (10.1 in); 29 cm diameter (11 in)

Heracles and the Lion of Nemea is a lekythos which is held at the Louvre Museum, with the representation of the first of the labours of Hercules, the slaying of the Nemean lion. It is coming from Athens, dated around 500 – 450 BCE[1] and it was bought for Louvre Museum at 1870. It was probably created from the shop of a Tanagran artist.[2][3] According to Beazley and Haspels it is attributed to the Diosphos painter.[1]


The painting of the lekythos presents Hercules naked, on his knee, struggling with the Nemean lion. He has caught the lion from the head and is smothering it with his arms while he has tied his fists. The image is framed by a tree with foliage and fruit. The garment of Hercules is hanging from a branch, while his sword and belt are hanging from another.[2]


  1. ^ a b 203102, Paris, Musee du Louvre, MNB909, The Beazley Archive, accessed 27 November 2016.
  2. ^ a b Arthur Fairbanks (1864–1944) (1907). Athenian lekythoi with outline drawing in glaze varnish on a white ground. New York: Macmillan. pp. 63. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
  3. ^ "Site officiel du musée du Louvre | The lekythos at the Louvre Museum". Retrieved 27 November 2016.

Further references

  • Flaceliere, R., Devambez, P., Heracles, Images & Recits (Paris, 1966)
  • Haspels, C., Attic Black-figured Lekythoi (Paris, 1936)
  • Kurtz, D., Athenian White Lekythoi (Oxford, 1975): PL.58.2
  • Lissarrague, F. et al. (eds.), Ceramique et peinture Grecques, Modes d'emploi, Actes du colloque internat., Ecole du Louvre, April 1995 (Paris, 1999): 185
  • Lissarrague, F., Greek Vases, The Athenians and their Images (2001): 163
  • Perrot, G., Chipiez, C., Histoire de l'art dans l'antiquite, vols. IX-X (Paris, 1911–14): X, 691