Let This Be a Lesson: Lecture 2

Antonio del Pollaiuolo, Hercules and Deianira, ca. 1475–80. Oil on panel transferred to canvas. Yale University Art Gallery, University Purchase from James Jackson Jarves

Unintended Consequences: Antonio del Pollaiuolo’s Hercules and Deianira

Friday, September 20, 2013, 1:30 pm

The Gallery’s best-known Renaissance painting shows Hercules about to shoot a centaur who is abducting his bride. Everybody admires the vigorous action and vast landscape. What about the subject? In the myth, she is rescued, but the shooting eventually leads to a horrible death for Hercules. We don’t see that; does it help to know it?

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Lecture Video

John Walsh presents Let This Be a Lesson: Lecture 2.

Recommended Readings

Alison Wright’s up-to-date, thorough, and generously illustrated study of the Pollaiuolo brothers is in print. Her entry in Renaissance Florence on the Gallery’s painting is a convenient summary. Rolfe Humphries’s translation of the Metamorphoses is recommended.

To access subscription-only articles, or for assistance with any of the below materials, please visit the Nolen Center Library at the Yale University Art Gallery.

On the Artist

Wright, Alison. The Pollaiuolo Brothers: The Arts of Florence and Rome. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2005: 7–23, 75, 78–87, 93–100, 102.

Rubin, Patricia Lee, and Alison Wright. Renaissance Florence: The Art of the 1470s. Exh. cat. London: National Gallery, 1999: 46–47.

Ames-Lewis, Francis. “Pollaiuolo” in Grove Art Online (by subscription only).
Access Online

On the Subject

Ovid. Metamorphoses. Trans. Rolfe Humphries. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1955: Book 9, 209–19.
Access Online

Philostratus the Younger. Imagines II. Book 16: Nessus.
Access Online

Note: For the benefit of the lecture audience, we are supplying a recommended reading list as well as links to useful online sources. Any author or publisher who believes that his or her rights have been violated should contact Rights and Reproductions at the Yale University Art Gallery at yuagrights@yale.edu.