Heneage Finch, Fourth Earl of Aylesford

Hercules in the Cellar. Caricature

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Graphite, ink and watercolour on paper
Support: 210 × 210 mm
Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996

Display caption

This comic drawing is by an amateur artist, Heneage Finch, 4th Earl of Aylesford.
It shows an imaginary exchange between
a caricatured version of a celebrated classical statue, known as the Farnese Hercules, and a gentleman in a cellar.
The statue says that as long as he supports the vault, which rests on his head, it will not fall. The gentleman replies that the statue
is doing a better job there than he would
in the Academy - an allusion presumably
to his misshapen limbs and features.


The Farnese Hercules was widely
admired and discussed among artists
and connoisseurs.

Gallery label, September 2004

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