Giovanni Maria Barbieri, known as Guercino
Villa Medicea, Cerreto Guidi, Municipality of Cerreto Guidi
Hercules was very dear to the Florentines, because he was an intelligent and astute hero and represented the qualities necessary to govern a city. In this painting by Guercino, one of the great painters of the Baroque, he is shown after having killed the Nemean lion. He holds the animal's skin over his arm. This will become his impenetrable armour. Note the subtle attention to both the physical and the psychological characteristics of the subject.