Description This gem shows Herakles reclining to left, resting on the lion skin: The lion tail is visible between the hero's legs, while fur and paw appear behind his back and below his right leg. His right hand rests with the club on the ground next to him, while he raises a large kantharos with his left in front or him. A (palm?) tree behind the hero indicates scenery. Depictions of Herakles reclining are attested as early as the 6th century BC, but the sculptural type was introduced only in the 4th century BC. It shows the almost always aged and bearded hero resting from his labors and as symposiast, associating him with the world of Dionysos. It became a popular and widespread theme in Hellenistic and Roman times (see LIMC 4 (1988), s.v. Herakles, 777).
- Heroes: Mortals and Myths in Ancient Greece. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville; San Diego Museum Of Art, San Diego; Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation (USA), New York. 2009-2011.
Provenance Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1913, [mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1913
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