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Hermogenean skyphos with Herakles and the Nemean Lion
The skyphos is a common type of deep-bodied drinking cup. This example is not signed by an artist, but its shape is strongly indebted to the tradition of the Athenian potter Hermogenes. The cup is decorated in the black-figure style, and features, on its opposite sides, two similar depictions of Herakles confronting the Nemean lion with his characteristic club, the most popular mythological subject in ancient Greek art. Here the artist shows the first of this heros twelve labors, as Herakles confronts and ultimately succeeds in wrestling and strangling the mythical lion whose hide was magically invulnerable to his weapons.