Costume and Textiles
FanMade in England, Europe
Artist/maker unknown, English
Gouache on paper; pierced ivory sticks and guards
Currently not on view
1899-781The Bloomfield Moore Collection, 1899
LabelIn Greek mythology, the hero Heracles was enslaved to Queen Omphale of Lydia (present-day Turkey) for killing Iphitus, son of King Eurytus of Oechalia. The central panel of this fan shows Omphale forcing Heracles to spin wool, a task traditionally performed by women. She eventually frees Heracles after witnessing his extraordinary acts of valor, and they later marry. The design may have been inspired by Omphale (1769), a myth-based tragic opera by Jean-Baptiste Philibert Cardonne (1730–after 1792).