The Death of Hercules by Francisco de Zurbarán

Death of Hercules, Scorched by the Centaur Nessus Tunic – Francisco de Zurbarán (1598-1664) – PD-art-100

The painting “Death of Hercules, Scorched by the Centaur Nessus Tunic” was created by the Spanish Baroque painter Francisco de Zurbarán between 1634-1637.

It depicts the dying Roman demigod and hero Hercules (Heracles in Greek mythology), who is suffering from the poisonous shirt given to him by his wife Deianira, as he is being lifted up to the heavens by two cherubs. The centaur Nessus, who gave Deianira the shirt, is also depicted in the painting, as well as a group of onlookers. The painting is now part of the collection at the Museo del Prado in Madrid, Spain.

The painting was part of a series of paintings on the life of the Greek demigod for the Hall of Realms at the Palacio del Buen Retiro.