Edme Bouchardon (French, 1698–1762) Wielding his chalk with characteristic grace and precision, Bouchardon carved out his grappling figures from the shadows of an imagined grotto. At center, the hero Hercules--recognizable by a lion's skin worn around his waist and a knotty club in his grasp--straddles one thrashing centaur and prepares to deal the other a mighty blow. Though this scene is fantastical, the straining human and equine anatomy seems observed firsthand. Bold, decisive contour lines enclose each figure, setting the group apart, in crisp relief, from the rapid red chalk hatch-work of the rugged plinth and alcove. These rocky forms and the overturned jar at right confirm that the drawing represents an unrealized design for a grotto fountain.
The story of Hercules's battle with the centaurs is usually told in the context of his fourth labor. On his way to Mount Erymanthos, Hercules pays a visit to the cave of his friend the centaur Pholus, whom he persuades to open a jar of wine originally given by Bacchus to all the centaurs. Smelling the wine, Pholus's fellow centaurs arrive to discover Hercules drinking from their jar; failing to understand that wine should be mixed with water, they begin to drink it undiluted and then set upon Hercules in anger. He subdues them with poisoned arrows and eventually continues on his way to kill the Erymanthian boar. Curiously, in Bouchardon's rendition of the scene, Hercules wields not a bow and poisoned arrows but his accustomed club. The artist here apparently sacrificed a certain measure of fidelity to the story in favor of a more thrilling and direct confrontation between the hero and his intoxicated foes, tangled together in a mass of muscle and hair. The cave setting of the story made it ideally suited for depiction in a fountain sculpture; in a witty detail devised by Bouchardon, water would have flowed from the centaurs' supposedly undiluted wine jug at right.Art Prints are printed on heavy matte finish German art paper using the finest Canon archival inks. Frame is black natural wood and double white mattboards and Acrylite glazing.
Wall Murals are printed on 42" matte finish, self-adhesive PhotoTex fabric panels that combine and mount easily and are great for a smooth wall surface. We can custom make to any size, just ask.
Stretched Canvas is stretched by hand over 1.5" thick pine bars and printed on cotton poly matte finish canvas. Each is canvas hand coated with Hahnemuhle UV/Archive coating, these are Swiss quality best in industry canvases. Please order an even number as we ship two stretched canvases in a single carton.
All our images are digitized from the original negative , printed and assembled in Switzerland to museum standards by our master printer.
All of our products are popular and custom made by hand to order, please allow 4-6 weeks to make them and 1-2 weeks for shipment anywhere in the world.
Questions? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Artwork in this collection is from The J. Paul Getty Museum. Reproduction rights are reserved by the copyright owner and used under license by Archivea GmbH. .