Visual | Infotainment

The twelve labours of Heracles

The Greek hero Heracles' arduous journey depicted in art.

Labour #1 The Nemean Lion by the Ludwigsburg Porcelain Factory (1758-1824)
Heracles fighting the Nemean Lion that was harrassing a small village. After Heracles had strangled the beast to death, he took its impenetrable skin and wore it as armor for the years to come.

If you would like to read the details of the twelve labours, you might like to visit

Labour #2 The Hydra of Lerna(c. 350 BCE)
A snake whose heads multpilied when they were cut off.

Labour #3 The Ceryneian Hind by Lysippos (4th century BCE)
A deer so fast it could outrun any arrow.

Labour #4 The Erymanthian Boar (6th century BCE)
After Heracles took it back to his king (the one who issued Heracles' twelve labours), the king hid himself in a bronze pot.

Labour #5 The Augean Stables (200-250 CE)
Heracles was tasked to clean a huge stable of livestock. It would have taken ages if he did it manually.

So, Heracles came up with the idea to re-rout a nearby river and lead it through the stables.

Labour #6 The Stymphalian Birds (6th century BCE)
Heracles shot these man-eating birds with arrows he had drenched in the poison of the Hydra (labour 2).

Labour #7 The Cretan Bull by Émile Friant (19th century)
Heracles wrestled the bull into submission and got rid of the beast terrorizing the island of Crete.

labour #8 The Mares of Diomedes by Gustave Moreau (1866)
Heracles was tasked to steal all of Diomedes' mares, but he did not know that they were wild and man-eating.

After Heracles' friend was killed by the horses, he let the beasts feed on their master Diomedes in an act of revenge - and that is what Moreau portrayed in this painting.

labour #9 The girdle of Hippolyta (6th Century BCE)
The amazone (naked female warriors) Hippolyta was fascinated (or in love) with Heracles, and wanted to give him her belt for his efforts towards her clan.

But when the goddess Hera made the clan plot evil against Heracles, he had to kill Hippolyta and take the girdle for himself.

labour #10 Geryon the three-bodied Giant (6th century BCE)
Heracles had to steal the cattle of Geryon for his 10th task. Geryon attacked Heracles with three shields, three bodies and three spears.

labour #11 Golden Apples of the Hesperides by Burne Jones (1869)
After Atlas gave Heracles the apples, he didnt want to take back the earth (to permanelty rest on his shoulders).

Heracles asked the rather dumb Atlas to improve his shoulder placement and to relief him for just a second. But, cunningly Heracles was able to cede the burden of the earth to Atlas and run away with the apples.

labour #12 Cerberos By Peter Paul Rubens (1637)
Heracles had to journey into hell for his last task. He stole Hades' pet Cerberos and took him back to earth.

After he delivered Cerberos to the king's doorstep, his labours were completed.