One of the Twelve Labours of Hercules required the hero to kill a flock of birds which were ravaging the countryside around Lake Stymphalus in Arcadia. He achieved this by using a rattle forged by Vulcan which frightened the birds, causing them to take flight. As they did so, Hercules shot them with his arrows.
Although the female chimera in the present group does not have wings, she closely follows Albrecht Durer's depiction of the theme in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna. Like the present figure, the birds in Durer's painting have female torsos, serpents' tails and lions' paws. He is depicted here with his foot on one of the birds while he takes aim at another.