French School of the eighteenth attributed to Noel Hallé (1711-1787) - Hercules and Omphalle
Our painting represents Hercules and Omphale. The artist is inspired by the painting of François Lemoyne (1688-1737) that can be admired in the Louvre.
Canvas canvas of 83 cm by 54 cm
Old frame entirely carved of 89 cm by 60 cm
Hercules and Omphale
After his labors and following his madness that caused him to kill his family, Hercules is subjected by the oracle of Delphi to a year of servitude, to expiate his fault. Bought as a slave by the Queen of Lydia, Omphale, he performs in his service, many exploits aimed at ridding his kingdom of monsters like the Cercopes and brigands such as Itones. Different versions address the loves of Omphale and Hercules. The most widespread is that, admiring the strength and the exploits of Hercules, she makes her lover and even her husband, after having freed her from servitude. However, in Ovid, Lucien, Properce, and Seneca, Omphale forces Hercules to wear women's clothes and to spin the wool while she is wearing the skin of the Nemean lion and the club. In Seneca, Omphale goes so far as to punish the hero of a bellows with his slipper. This theme of the inversion of roles in love was retained by the painters, in the 17th and especially in the 18th century, for its light and comical aspect. Indeed during this century, there is a shift of the theme around Hercules, work to his loves. The works of Rubens, Boucher, François Lemoyne are among the most famous representations of this mythological theme. There are still other variations, such as the fact that Hercules, in love with Omphale, would have made himself willingly a slave, or that Paon would have made the rumor of a Hercules dressed as a woman, after having made himself discard by Omphale. Anyway the diversion of the heroic and mythical figure of Hercules remains a constant in this episode whose interest lies in a reflection on the inversion of the masculine / feminine gender in love.
Noel Hallé (1711-1787)
Noël Hallé receives his first painting lessons from his father Claude Guy Hallé. He is the brother-in-law of Jean II Restout and the nephew of Jean Jouvenet. His son is the famous doctor Jean Noël Hallé.
He won the first painting prize of 1736 with "the passage of the Red Sea". He stayed in Rome from 1737 to 1744 (boarder of the Academy of France in Rome) and June 30, 1746 he is approved at the academy of Fine Arts in Paris and became academicians May 31, 1748.
Inspector of the Royal Manufacture of Goblins in 1771 and director of the School of Rome in 1775.
It is exhibited in many museums.