Omphale with Hercules’ Club and Fleece
A French Empire clock representing Omphale holding Hercules’ club and fleece. Wishing to expiate the murder of one of his friends, Hercules consulted the oracle of Apollo, who advised him to enter the service of Omphale, Queen of Lydia. Although Hercules was the son of Zeus and was famed for his invincible strength, he submitted to the tasks the queen devised for him to expiate his crime. There are many references in text and art to Heracles being forced to do women’s work and even wear women’s clothing and hold a basket of wool while Omphale and her maidens did their spinning. At times Omphale even wore the skin of the Nemean Lion and carried Heracle’s olive-wood club. The bas relief on the base depicts the ensuing role reversal with the athletic masculine hero Hercules holding the spindle, while Omphale holds the club in her hand.
Dimensions: 18″W (46cm) x 21″H (54cm) x 5.5″D (14cm)