Hercules attached at the mouth by a cord to the ears of nine men; representing eloquence. Colour etching by C.N. Cochin and woodcut by V. Le Sueur after Raphael.

  • Raphael, 1483-1520.
Part of:
Recueil d'estampes d'après les plus beaux tableaux et d'après les plus beaux desseins qui sont en France
  • Pictures

About this work


Hercules, seated speaks to nine men: threads emerging from his mouth are attached to one of the ears of each of the listeners. The subject is said by Lucian in his work Herakles to be depicted in a painting that he claimed to have seen in Gaul: Lucian's Gallic interpreter explained to him that the Gauls regarded Hercules, not Hermes, as the god of eloquence (Hallowell, op. cit.)


[Paris] : [Imprimerie royale], [1727?]

Physical description

1 print : etching, with woodcut, printed in brown and white ; platemark 28 x 25.5 cm


Hercule Gaulois, ou l'Éloquence. d'après le dessein de Raphaël, qui est dans le cabinet de Mr Crozat de la mesme grandeur de l'estampe gravé en cuivre par Charles Nicolas Cochin, et en bois par Vincent le Sueur Bears number: 38


Commissioned and issued as part of the "Recueil Crozat", 2 vols., 1729 and 1742, of which volume I bears a title page lettered: Recueil d'estampes d'après les plus beaux tableaux et d'après les plus beaux desseins qui sont en France, dans le cabinet du Roy, dans celuy de monseigneur le Duc d'Orleans, & dans d'autres cabinets, A Paris: de l'Imprimerie Royale, MDCCXXIX

References note

Robert E. Hallowell, 'Ronsard and the Gallic Hercules myth', Studies in the Renaissance, 1962, 9: 242-255 (mentions this composition on p. 249)
Not in: G.B. Pezzini, S. Massari, S.P. Valenti Rodinò, Raphael invenit, Roma: Edizioni Quasar, 1985
Marcel Roux, Inventaire du fonds français, graveurs du XVIIIe siècle, Bibliothèque nationale, Département des estampes, vol. IV, Paris 1940, p. 611, C.N. Cochin père no. 50
R. Weigel, Die Werke der Maler in ihren Handzeichnungen, Leipzig: R. Weigel, 1865, no. 7035, p. 594 ("Der Gallische Herkules oder die Beredsamkeit. [...] Aus den Sammlungen des Tim. Delle Vite, Antaldi, Crozat, Lagoy, Dimsdale, Lawrence, jetzt in Oxford [...]")


Wellcome Collection 3010909i

Creator/production credits

After a drawing (subsequently in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford) attributed by Crozat to Raphael; by Roux to G.F. Penni; by the Ashmolean Museum apparently to an unidentified follower of Raphael


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