Raphael, Hercules and the Hydra, recto, c. 1508
Lent from the Royal Library by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

At the end of his Florentine period, Raphael drew a number of large and vigorous figure studies such as this one. Their size suggests that he was attempting to aggrandize his style in response to the drawings of contemporary artists, particularly Michelangelo.

Copyright © National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.