Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1653)


Procne and Philomela Showing Tereus the Head of his Son Itys, nd

Background: Procne and Philomena are sisters, and Tereus is Procne’s husband. Tereus kidnapped Philomena, took her to a cabin where he raped her, cut out her tongue, and raped her again. Leaving her there, he returned to Procne and told her Philomena was dead. Philomena was able to weave her story into cloth and have it delivered to her sister.

Procne managed to find Philomena and rescued her. The plan for revenge was to mutilate Tereus, but Procne decided it would be more effective to use their son, Itys, to obtain revenge. The sisters killed the boy, cooked him, and served him to his father.


Gustave Moreau (1826-1898)


Hercules and the Lernaean Hydra, 1875/1876. Killing the Hydra was the second of the twelve labours of Hercules.


Detail. Previous victims of the Hydra.

Jan Toorop (1853-1925)


The Sphinx (Souls around the Sphinx), 1892-1897

Jules-Élie Delaunay (1828-1891)


Ixion précipité dans les Enfers, 1876 (Ixion is thrown into Hades)

Cornelis van Haarlem (1562-1638)


Two Followers of Cadmus Devoured by a Dragon, 1588

Henry Fuseli (1741-1825)


Jason and Medea Capture the Golden Fleece. Medea is pouring liquid on the dragon who guards the fleece, placing a spell. 1806

Gustave Moreau (1826-1898)


Diomedes Being Eaten by his Horses, 1865

This event is from the eighth labor of Hercules, who was ordered to capture the four flesh-eating horses belonging to King Diomedes. There are different versions of the myth; in one, Hercules kills Diomedes in battle and feeds him to his horses to calm them. In another, he feeds Diomedes to the horses out of revenge for the death of Abderus, a companion eaten by the horses.

Diomedes Devoured by Horses

A slightly later version, also by Moreau: Diomedes Devoured by Horses, 1866
watercolor over graphite