Painting of Hercules

This reception room overlooked the garden of the House of the Vettii. It is decorated with a number of wall paintings in the Fourth Style among which there are three main pictures.

This picture is from the left hand wall of the reception room and shows Hercules killing a serpent. Hercules was the son of Jupiter and Alcmena (Jupiter had taken on the appearance of Alcmena's husband Amphityron in order to seduce her). Juno, Jupiter's wife was jealous of this child and so she went to Sthenelus and gave birth to Eurytheos. She wanted her son to be greater than Hercules and so she put serpents into Hercules' cradle. However, Hercules succeeded in overpowering these serpents. This picture shows Hercules wrestling and strangling the snakes. To the right of the painting is Amphityron who is amazed at the sight. Behind him is Juno and Jupiter is represented by the eagle in the painting.