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Wednesday 14 April 2021

Jean Baptiste Tilliard & Louis Lafitte, “Hercules Capturing the Mares of Diomedes”, c1797, after Charles Le Brun

(Engraver) Jean Baptiste Tilliard (1740–1813) & (etcher) Louis Lafitte (1770–1828)

“Hercules Capturing the Mares of Diomedes”, (aka “Hercule Assommant les Chevaux de Diomede”), c1797 (1786–1808), in reverse after the design of Charles Le Brun’s (aka Charles Lebrun) (1619–1690) painting, “Hercules Vanquishing Diomedes”, c1640, in the Castle Museum and Art Gallery, Nottingham (inv. NCM 1893–52) (see the painting and preliminary studies:;;, published in Paris in 1786 by Jacques Couché in, “Galerie du Palais Royal: gravée d'après les tableaux des differentes ecoles qui la composent: avec un abrégé de la vie des peintres & une description historique de chaque tableau” (Gallery of the Royal Palace: engraved after the paintings of the different schools which compose it: with an abridgment of the life of the painters & a historical description of each painting) (see this print in its context in the publication:

The Curator of the British Museum offers the following information regarding the series in which this print features, “Galerie du Palais Royal”:

“… a set reproducing 354 works from the collection of the Duke of Orléans, published by Jacques Couché (who directed the project with Bouillard; see Inventaire du Fonds Français for Jacques couché, cat. No.50, for article on the series) from 1786 to 1808.

The plates were issued by series of 6, every 3 months, and each of them was accompanied by a text, engraved on the same plate as the reproduction; the first six plates were published on 15 February 1786 and advertised in 'Affiches, Annonce et Avis divers', 25 February. Disrupted and interrupted by the Revolution, the publication resumed in 1808 (volumes II and II). At some point, reflecting the changes occurring in France at the time, the series' title was changed to 'Galerie du Palais Egalité' (the name given to the Palais Royal during the Revolution, and an allusion to its owner, Philippe Egalité). It is also sometimes referred to as 'Galerie du Palais d'Orléans', or 'Galerie du Duc d'Orléans'” (

Engraving with etching on wove paper trimmed around the image borderline and retaining the title and publication details (but with loss of lower text in the margin; see, backed by a support sheet.

Size: (sheet) 22.4 x 16 cm; (image borderline) 21.2 x 15.9 cm.

Lettered on plate below the image borderline: (left) “'Peint par Ch. le Brun”; (centre) “Gravé à l'Eau forte par Lafitte./ HERCULE ASSOMMANT LES CHEVAUX DE DIOMEDE”; (right) “Terminé äu Burin par J. B. Tilliard.”

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:

“Hercules and the mares of Diomedes, after Le Brun: the hero stands with his foot placed on one of the mares' head, and prepares to strike a blow with his club; at his feet, a dead man lying on the ground, and human bones; with engraved text below. c.1786/1808 Etching and engraving” (

Condition: a richly inked and well-printed impression, trimmed around the image borderline on the top and sides with loss of the text below the title and production details, laid upon a support sheet of fine archival/millennium quality washi paper. The sheet is in excellent condition with no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, stains or foxing.

I am selling this graphically strong engraving (with etching) showing Hercules dispatching the mythological man-eating horses owned by the King of Thrace, Diomedes, for AU$257 (currently US$196.53/EUR164.28/GBP142.78 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world (but not, of course, any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries).

If you are interested in purchasing this beautifully executed engraving full of action and sparkling with light, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold 

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