FRANCO, Battista
(b. ca. 1510, Venezia, d. 1561, Venezia)

The Abduction of Deianeira

c. 1550
Etching on laid paper, 247 x 387 mm
Private collection

Hercules is about to shoot the arrow that will kill the centaur Nessus, who is attempting to carry Hercules's bride away. Before he dies, Nessus will give Deianeira his bloody cloak and tell her that if Hercules's love ever fades, she should give him this cloak. She does and Hercules dies in agony from the blood which is poisonous. When Rubens was in Italy working for the Duke of Mantua, he purchased Franco's original drawing for this etching and worked on it.

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