Roehampton Hercules

Moving the conversation indoors, the second interview recorded at the University of Roehampton was shot in the Adam Room located inside Grove House. CC’s Anastasia Bakogianni talks with Dr Susan Deacy in front of a chimney-piece featuring the ‘Choice of Hercules’. Susan tells us how she came to be interested in this representation of the classical mythical hero and what it reveals about his reception in eighteenth-century English culture.

Susan explains how Hercules’ choice between a life of pleasure and one devoted to virtue was understood in this period and how this is reflected in its portrayal on the panel in Grove House. Susan’s work on this topic is part of the larger Hercules Project, based at the University of Leeds, whose aim is to explore the long and rich reception history of Hercules. Susan also discusses the continuing appeal of mythological figures such as Hercules and Athena and how they have transformed the environment we live in.

Follow this link to watch our interview to learn more about this fascinating chimney panel featuring Hercules, and how this interactive piece of neoclassical art invites the viewer to re-enact the mythical hero’s choice.

To learn more about Susan’s work on the Hercules panel follow her blog:

The photos of the chimney-piece are reproduced by kind permission of Marina Vorobieva. For more information see: