|Labours of Heracles | liebher2.5: Eurystheus ordered Heracles to fetch the Apples of the HESPERIDES, which were either in Libya or in the far north.
It was on this occasion that Heracles, following Prometheus' instructions, asked Atlas to fetch the Golden Apples instead of fetching them himself. That is why for a short time the Pillars of Heaven were supported by Heracles, who relieved Atlas while he went to fetch the Golden Apples. Atlas soon returned carrying three Golden Apples, but was no longer willing to support the vault of the sky, declaring that he could deliver the fruits to Eurystheus himself. Seeing that Atlas could not be persuaded, Heracles asked him to hold the sky just for a moment while he placed a pad on his head, and when Atlas held the sky again, Heracles picked up the apples and left.
In the illustration, Atlas appears holding, not the vault of the sky but the earth, on which a geographic contour, well known by later times, has been depicted. Liebig sets.|