(b. 1833, Birmingham, d. 1898, London)

Garden of the Hesperides

c. 1870
Watercolour and gouache on paper, 119 x 98 cm
Kunsthalle, Hamburg

In Greek mythology, the Hesperides are nymphs who live in a beautiful garden, situated in the Arcadian Mountains (Greece) or, alternatively, at the western extreme of the Mediterranean, near Mt. Atlas (hence they are sometimes considered daughters of Atlas). In this garden grows the tree with the golden apples which Gaia had given as a present to Hera on her wedding to Zeus. This garden is guarded by Ladon, a dragon with a hundred heads. The only one who succeeded in obtaining some of the apples was Heracles, who tricked Atlas to get them for him. Thus Heracles completed the eleventh of his Twelve Labours.