Hercules and the Ceryneian Hind

Catching Artemida’s sacred hind was the fourth Hercules’ labour that he must accomplish on his way to obtaining immortality. The wonderful hind is swift as the wind and knows no fatigue – the demigod has spent a whole year trying to catch the mythical creature. The hero is overtaken by fury and despair, and his nature is getting inflamed with animal spirits as each day passes in vain. The sculpture demonstrates the decisive moment of this long year of an endless chase when the nature of a hunter overcomes Hercules at the sight of the prey and the long-awaited victory. Lion’s mask and skin covering the hero’s shoulders blur the line between a man and an animal. The composition serves to demonstrate a lion first, while only by looking under the mask can a viewer recognize a human face distorted with fury.
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