The Hercules Project has materials about a number of different artistic representations of the hero and his activities in a number of different contexts. This page currently contains resources on:

Herakles in New Zealand

Hercules’ Choice

Hercules’ Twelve Labours

Herakles in New Zealand

Talks and interviews documenting the Hercules Project’s touring exhibition of New Zealand artist Marian Maguire’s lithograph and etchings series The Labours of Herakles.

For an interview with Emma Stafford about Marian Maguire’s work – and a vase by the Berlin Painter – see Manchester Museum’s Thematic Collecting blog. The interview is summarised in print with illustrations in a post (Thematic Collecting blog (April 2015)) and can be watched as a pair of videos in this later post (video interview).

Hercules’ Choice

A variety of materials focusing upon artistic representations of Hercules’ choice between Virtue and Vice, a fifth-century BCE story which became very popular during and after the renaissance…

The Poster for the Museum talk with image of the painting at Temple Newsam

The Poster for the Museum talk

“The Choice of Hercules: from Ancient Greece to Temple Newsam” is a 20 minute presentation by Emma Stafford on the background to the 1712 painting by Paolo di Matteis at Temple Newsam (Leeds), which was delivered for the “Classics in Our Lunchtimes” talks series at Leeds City Museum. This audio-recording has been fully edited and is accompanied by a pdf of the slides shown.

Slides for Hercules’ Choice (pdf download, 1443kB)

An interview with Susan Deacy on the ‘Choice of Hercules’ fireplace in the Adam Room of Roehampton’s Georgian Grove House is available through Classics Confidential.

PinTerest Board with images of the Choice of Herakles.

Booklet analysing the origin and development of the “Hercules’ Choice” story in literature and art (pdf download 1M)

Hercules’ Twelve Labours

Part of the legacy of “In the Footsteps of Hercules” (Light Night 2010) is a factasy walking tour of Leeds that links Hercules’ Twelve Labours with the public art and architecture and local history of Leeds. It included meetings with story-telling costumed characters. The walk itself is available through the original project website and as a downloadable route with location information from Classics Talks.

PinTerest Boards with images of the Twelve Labours from antiquity to today.

On 31st March 2019, The Hercules Project presented the Twelve Labours at the Be Curious festival, a University of Leeds open research event, themed around the idea of a Brave New World. Hercules’ Labours were reconsidered through examples of ancient art and modern political art, as well as Marian Maguire’s concept of Hercules as a coloniser. Participants created postcards showing Hercules performing labours to improve the world today, some of which related to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The supporting images used, except for those of Marian Maguire (available through the Royal Museums: Greenwich online gallery), are available on this page. Postcards created by participants are available here.