Triumph over Death: Samson Carrying the Gate of Gaza | Hercules Slaying the Centaur Nessus, Maarten van Heemskerck, c. 1550 - c. 1560

Triumph over Death: Samson Carrying the Gate of Gaza | Hercules Slaying the Centaur Nessus, Maarten van Heemskerck, c. 1550 - c. 1560

oil on panel, h 46.7cm × w 16cm Catalogue entry

Samson escaped his murderers by wrenching apart the city gate of Gaza hinges and all, and running up the hill. In Heemskerk’s time this scene was considered as the forerunner (prefiguration) of Christ’s resurrection from the dead. Hercules also triumphs over death here. He kills the centaur Nessus, whose poisonous blood would prove fatal to Hercules years later, resulting in his eternal life on Mount Olympus.

On display in room 0.6

Catalogue entry