Louis Charles Auguste Couder, The Earth, or The Fight Between Hercules and Antaeus, 1819. This is perhaps the most luscious of all the versions of this myth that we could resource.
There is no overtly homosexual side to the story of the battle between Antaeus and Hercules, yet the consistent voluptuousness of the various versions is hard to deny with modern eyes. One man is being dominated by the other, naked sweaty bodies rubbing against each other. Legs flailing in air. The rapturous surrender and the focus on the vulnerable buttocks is hard to miss.
Hercules and Diomedes: That Statue
Finding trustworthy source material on why exactly Diomedes has grabbed the goods here is tough. The basic story takes place after the Eighth Labor.
Above: That this statue makes a lot of folks giggle may be a testament to the humor of the Greeks and Romans. This is another example of a sculpture found in gay men's homes in the middle of the last century — sometimes as a lamp base.
Ares' son, Diomedes, King of the Bistones, in Thrace, offers newcomers to his horses for dinner. When Hercules and his friends arrive, the king decides to feed them to the horses, but Hercules turns the tables on the king after a wrestling match — prolonged because it is with with the war god's son. Prolonged. Penis. Grabbing.
In some versions of this story Hercules loses his young lover, Abderus. Hercules leaves Diomedes's horses in the care of Abderus. While Hercules is away, the horses devour Abderus. In revenge, Hercules feeds Diomedes' still-living flesh to his own mares. Hercules founded the city of Abdera near the boy's tomb, where athletic games were held in honor of Abderus.