Skip to main content

Character: Venus, Venus de Medici and Hercules: 832/7.f.40

An image of 832-7.f.40_v_201309_amt49_dc2.jpg

Terms of use

These images are provided for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons License (BY-NC-ND). To license a high resolution version, please contact our image library who will discuss fees, terms and waivers.

Download this image

Creative commons explained - what it means, how you can use our's and other people's content.

Alternative views

Object information

Awaiting location update


Character: Venus, Venus de Medici and Hercules
Character: Heroes and Fauns


Draughtsman: Flaxman, John


Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1916-12) by Murray, Charles Fairfax

School or Style


Materials used in production

Brown ink

Components of the work

Support composed of laid paper
Leaf Height 230 mm Width 169 mm

Techniques used in production

Handwriting : Pen and brown ink on laid paper

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: 40
  • Location: Upper right corner
  • Method of creation: Graphite

Inscription present: the following in brown ink: [i] preceding word crossed through

  • Text: being the patron of the Gymnastic exercises / Venus / Her Character is beauty & Grace finely represented / in the Copies of that made by Praxiteles for the / Enidians, a fine example in the collection of / Duke Brach[i] Braschi in Rome / Venus de Medicis / is of a less elevated character because her / form & expression is not so simple / The likeness of the Gods shew their family / The characters & forms of the Gods shew their / offices / Hercules / In the small round curls of his hair the forms / of his eyes & the thickness of his neck, are / to be traced the resemblance to a Bull+ / he has the greatest breadth & thickness of / proportions with muscles the most turgid / & decided in their forms, of any of the Gods / or Demi-Gods. / +Winckelman
  • Location: Recto
  • Method of creation: Brown ink

Inscription present: the following in brown ink unless stated otherwise: [i] preceding two words crossed through; [ii] preceding word in graphite

  • Text: Heroes / The Beauty of their countenance & the simplicity / of their form is less than those of the Gods, but / superior to those of men / Fauns / Their forms & beauti[i] countenance inferior in / simplicity & Beauty to the Heroes, their / similitudes vary according to their gradations / & employments, the superior orders resembling / the Heroes in Beauty, the lower orders almost / brutes / There[sic] Faun of Praxiteles is nearest to the / beauty of the Heroic Class, as likewise another with / a beautiful face & figure, in a standing position / holding an Ewer in one hand & only distinguished / from the Heroes by Goats ears, this perhaps is / the Hero Ceramicus[ii] son of Bacchus mentioned / by Pausanias / The nex[iii] forms of the inferior orders of fauns / have sometimes great thickness to indicate a / dwarfish stature, their Abdomen are generally / small, their muscles turgid tendonous & / strongly determined in their forms such as are seen in savage nature & in men
  • Location: Verso
  • Method of creation: Brown ink

Identification numbers

Accession number: 832/7.f.40
Primary reference Number: 38735
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 20 May 2021 Last processed: Tuesday 13 June 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Paintings, Drawings and Prints

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Character: Venus, Venus de Medici and Hercules" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-06-13 18:42:21

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url= |title=Character: Venus, Venus de Medici and Hercules |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-06-13 18:42:21|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

API call for this record

To call these data via our API (remember this needs to be authenticated) you can use this code snippet:

Bootstrap HTML code for reuse

To use this as a simple code embed, copy this string:

<div class="text-center">
    <figure class="figure">
        <img src=""
        alt="Character: Venus, Venus de Medici and Hercules"
        class="img-fluid" />
        <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">Character: Venus, Venus de Medici and Hercules</figcaption>

Sign up for updates

Updates about future exhibitions and displays, family activities, virtual events & news. You'll be the first to know...