Omphale

Omphale

By
Lucas Faydherbe
Photographer
Hugo Maertens
License

About this artwork

Omphale was Queen of Lydia, an empire in the west of Asia Minor. She was the widow of a certain Tmolus. One of the ten punishments that the hero Herakles (named after Hercules in Roman texts), after having murdered his own wife and children (see B / 39), consisted in killing the lion of Nemea. After he had succeeded in this, he dressed himself in the skin of the animal he used as a cloak. Another story about Herakles deals with his murder of Iphitus, the son of Eurytus. Iphitus had accused the hero of the theft of cattle belonging to his father. In a direct confrontation between the two men, Herakles threw Iphitus from a rock. The oracle of Delphi then condemned Heracles to slavery. In this capacity he is bought by Omphale. At her court he is forced to perform women's work, such as spinning yarn. In some versions of the story he even disguises this as a woman. In turn, Omphale also turned the roles around by taking control of his club and wrapping himself in his lion's skin. Eventually, however, she fell in love with Heracles, gave the hero back his freedom and chose him as her husband. Omphale is particularly rich in this image. Her long, bare neck and the curve of the breasts emphasize the elaborate fold of the draping and the cameo on her right shoulder that holds the garment. The hair is elegantly tied up in braids with jewels and falls over her shoulders in elegant tresses. The earrings and pendant give her a unique name. There is some irony in her eyes.

About the artist

Omphale
Photo number
0160002000
Inventory number
B0040.01
Omphale
Photo number
0160002000
Inventory number
B0040.01
Omphale
Photo number
0160002000
Inventory number
B0040.01