“Deianira and the dying centaur Nessus” by Howard Pyle

Deianira myths and facts

Howard Pyle was an American illustrator and author, born in 1853 and passed away in 1911. He was known for his illustrations of classic stories, including those from Greek mythology.

One of his illustrations, created around 1888, depicts the scene of “Deianeira and the dying centaur Nessus”. In Pyle’s illustration, Deianeira is shown holding the phial of blood as Nessus lies on the ground.

In Greek mythology, Deianeira was the wife of the hero and demigod Heracles, and Nessus was a centaur who attempted to rape her. Heracles shot Nessus with an arrow, and as Nessus lay dying, he convinced Deianeira to take some of his blood, telling her it would keep Heracles faithful to her. However, the blood was poisoned, and when Deianeira later used it to try to win back Heracles’ love, it caused his death.