Hercules when an Infant strangles the Serpents

WAG 7658


This is part of a group of drawings by British artist and book illustrator Edward Francis Burney, depicting scenes from Greek and Roman history and mythology. Hera, wife of Zeus, arranged for two snakes to be sent to kill Hercules (Greek: Heracles) when he was still a small child. This was because Hercules was born to Alcmena by Zeus, and Hera was jealous. Hercules was too strong for the serpents and killed them both. Presumably this composition includes Alcmena and Hera on the left and Zeus on the right.