The Return of the Gods: Exhibition guide: The Falling Giant Thomas Banks: The Falling Giant

Thomas Banks The Falling Giant

Thomas Banks 
The Falling Giant 1786 

Courtesy the Royal Academy of Arts, London

The story illustrated here probably comes from the Greek legends concerning the giants who were the rebel sons of Heaven and Earth. After piling up rocks to reach Olympus (the mountain home of the gods) they were defeated by the hero Heracles (Hercules), and crushed beneath falling rubble and volcanoes. This was Banks’s Diploma Work, the show-piece presented to the Royal Academy by every artist on being elected a Royal Academician.