Today I would like to share ‘Hercules at the Feet of Omphale’ by French painter Gustave Courtois. I presume this scene depicts Omphale seducing her soon-to-be husband. What I enjoy about this work is the tender interaction between these two mythological subjects. The sight of the handsome, brawny Hercules gazing upward at Omphale is endearing—perhaps even submissive—and she seems to delight in his attention. I’m also intrigued at how they share the wool string, suggesting a sensuality between them both. Observing his powerful muscles, Hercules handles the delicate string with grace and precision, demonstrating his prowess as a lover—or at least proving that he makes for a nice piece of eye candy.
To accompany this work, I will include Saint-Saëns’s symphonic depiction of this scene. Enjoy.
Saint-Saëns - Le rouet d'Omphale, opus 31