Based after an early 3rd century Farnese statue, this large cast limestone bust depicts the head of Hercules as it appeared in antiquity. His head is tilted to the side and down, while the neck muscles show perfect placement and proportion to the face.
The original full body marble statue was produced by a Greek artist named Glykon. Glykon’s marble itself was an enlarged copy of a cast bronze statue from 4th century BC by a Roman artist named Lysippos, who is considered one of the greatest sculptors of the Classical era. Lysippos was the personal sculptor of Alexander the Great, as Alexander felt that Lysippos was the only artist fit to represent him.
Glykon’s marble statue, called the Farnese Hercules, was produced for the Baths of Caracalla, which was Rome’s second largest public baths. At some point in time, the statue was disassembled, as the legs were discovered in the ruins of the baths during a 16th century excavation, while the head was retrieved from a well outside of Vatican City. The statue is referred to as Farnese since the disassembled statue was restored under the guidance of the Italian cardinal, Alessandro Farnese. Cardinal Farnese was renowned for having acquired the greatest private collection of fine art in the early modern world.
Standing at almost two feet tall, this neoclassical cast limestone bust would look great on a pedestal indoors, but will do just fine weathering the elements in an outdoor garden.
CONDITION: Good condition with minor rubs and wear to surface (see photos). Stone can change color with exposure to the elements, as noted by the light gray patina that has developed on the cream stone.
H - 23 1/2, W - 18 1/4, D - 13 1/2
Large Italian Cast Limestone Bust of Hercules
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