Oil on canvas, 48.5cm by 64.5cm.
The painting depicts a scene from a mythological story which occurs whilst Hercules and his wife Deineira are crossing a river. The centaur Nessus, having ferried Hercules across, attempts to rape his wife as he ferries her to the far bank. Luca Giordano was one of the 5th Earl of Exeter’s favourite artists, many of whose canvases he acquired, including this one, whilst on the Grand Tour. It appears in the 1738 Inventory: p.4 ‘Dressing Room’….”The Centaur carrying Deinira over the River, Hercules pursuing, 1/2 yd high, 3qrs broad.”