An image of Hercules and Cacus

Hendrick Goltzius

(Netherlands 1558 – 1617)

Hercules and Cacus

Not on display
Further information

Goltzius’s only dated woodcut illustrates an episode from one of the twelve labours of Hercules: Hercules capturing the cattle of Geryon. Cacus, the son of Vulcan – god of fire, stole eight of Hercules’ cattle and hid them in his cave. He then blocked the entrance by chaining a boulder across the mouth. Hercules pursued Cacus, broke into the cave and gave battle. Goltzius shows Hercules at his moment of triumph, his club above his head, about to slay the fire-breathing thief.

Chiaroscuro woodcut, line block in black and 2 tone blocks in ochre and brown
41.6 x 33.6 cm trimmed just outside border
Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.

Gift of Nicholas Batchelor 2013. Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program.
Accession number
Nicholas Batchelor, Sydney/New South Wales/Australia, Gift of Nicholas Batchelor 2013. By descent. The donor, Nicholas Batchelor, was given the print by his grandfather, himself a descendent of the popular English Victorian artist Myles Birket Foster (1825-1899). It is entirely possible, indeed probable, that the print passed down the family line from Birket Foster