Jan-Claudius de Cock

Hercules victorious after capturing Cerberus

The present group of three figures represents Hercules – wearing the skin of the Nemean lion, the animal he had to slay for his first labor – being crowned victor after capturing Cerberus. After Hercules was driven mad by Hera and mistakenly killed his wife and sons, the Oracle of Delphi sentĀ him to serve King Eurystheus for twelve years as penance. While in the king’s service, Hercules performed twelve labors, the last of which was capturing Cerberus alive, without using weapons.

It was promised that Hercules would be rewarded with immortality after completing his twelve years of service, which is what is shown here, albeit allegorically: Hercules isĀ given the victor’s crown – a laurel wreath – while he loosely rests his foot on the captured hellhound.

Artist: Jan-Claudius de Cock (Brussels 1667 - 1735 Antwerp)
Medium: terracotta
Dimensions: height 23 cm
Signed: monogram 'IC', on the base