This seated youth or ignudo shields his face from the blinding light of Hercules' arrival on Mount Olympus. Here Domenico Maria Canuti conceived him as a real-life youth, muscular and rounded, with emotional energy implicit in his contorted pose. Soon after making this drawing, he portrayed the same ignudo somewhat differently in a corner of one of his first major works, the Apotheosis of Hercules on the ceiling of the grand salon of a palazzo in Bologna.
Canuti based his drawing style firmly in Bolognese tradition. Like his predecessor Annibale Carracci, he depicted ignudi as real people, with often disconcertingly animated expressions and movements. Canuti's caricature of a man playing a pipe at the right also displays the influence of the Carracci, who were masters of caricature.