Archaeological Museum of Bologna

Museo Civico Archeologico
Via dell'Archiginnasio 2 - 40124 Bologna

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Collections / Ricerca / Etruscan Collection: from villages to the city of Felsina

Statuette of Heracles

The bronze statue depicting Heracles, Hercle in Etruscan, naked and standing, with the typical weighting theorized by Polykleitos: the left leg outstretched, to support the weight of the body, and the right flexed outward. The right arm, lifted, brandishing the club, while in the left hand, leaning forward, the hero hands out the apples of the Hesperides garden, conquered in one of the twelve legendary labors.

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His head is covered by a lion skin (leonté), a typical Heraclean attribute, falling over his shoulders and knotted at the chest. This is a bronze statue of excellent quality, both for its size and for the refined execution of the muscles and face. Originally attributed to a smith from the Orvieto area, it is now thought more likely to be from a Po Valley Etruria artisan workshop. The hero Heracles is strictly bound to the Po Valley where ancient writers often place the site of the Gardens of the Hesperides, where he stole the golden apples.


Provenance: Bologna, Villa Cassarini sanctuary
Datation: c. 400 BC
Material: bronze
Dimensions: height cm 28
Inventory #: SBAER 41409

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