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The Farnese Hercules
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The Farnese Hercules


Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description This statuette, depicting the demigod Hercules resting between his labors, is a reduction of a colossal marble statue (over 10 ft. high) executed by the sculptor Glykon in the early 3rd century. It, in turn, was modeled after a lost original 4th-century BC bronze statue by the famous Greek sculptor Lysippus. In 1546, Glykon's statue was discovered during an excavation in Rome and was displayed in the garden of the palace belonging to the Farnese family, hence its name (it is now in the National Archeological Museum, Naples). The statue, with its impressive rendering of Hercules's physique, was instantly famous, and admiration for it was reflected in the widespread ownership of small and full-size copies. While in Rome, the great Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens (1576-1640) made drawings of the colossus that he used for his paintings. There was even a full-size plaster cast in a 17th-century collection in Antwerp.
Conservation
Date Description Narrative
11/01/1958Treatmentcleaned
8/24/1977Treatmentcleaned; loss compensation; other
8/24/1977Treatmentcleaned
7/20/1983Loan Considerationexamined for loan
1/06/1984Examinationexamined for loan
2/10/1984Treatmentcleaned; repaired; other
12/17/1987Treatmentexamined for condition; cleaned
Exhibitions
  • Children of Mercury: The Education of Artists in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. Brown University, Bell Gallery, List Art Center, Providence. 1984.
Provenance Raoul Heilbronner, Paris, by purchase; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1909, by purchase, Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1909

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Period
ca. 1650 (Baroque)
Medium
bronze with marble base
(Metal)
Accession Number
54.727
Measurements
H: 13 1/4 in. (33.6 cm)
Geographies
  • Italy, Rome (Place of Origin)
  • Italy, Florence (Place of Origin)
Location Within Museum
Not On View

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