Carracci drew this resting Hercules while preparing a fresco cycle for Cardinal Odoardo Farnese’s private study in the Palazzo Farnese in Rome. The mythical Roman hero is identified by his club, a lion’s hide, and the apple in his right hand. Though lifelike, the figure was not drawn from a live model. Instead, it was inspired by works that Carracci, a recent transplant from Bologna, encountered in Rome, such as an ancient sculpture of the reclining Roman river god Tiber. The drawing is executed on blue paper, which creates a middle tone between the black chalk shadows and white chalk highlights, endowing Hercules with a greater degree of volume and naturalism.