A superb example of Greek sculpture! Head of a small marble figurine of the „Herakles Farnese“ type.
The hero’s head is slightly turned downwards, wearing a long wooly beard and short curly hair. A typical iconographic feautre are Herakles’ cauliflower ears.
The head is identified as the „Herakles Farnese“ type on the basis of its similarity to a copy in Naples which shows an aged naked Herakles holding the apples of the Hesperides in his right hand, behind his back and leaning on his club covered with the Nemean lion’s skin, a cloak under his left armpit.
His pose and downcast eyes suggest that Herakles has been exhausted by his 12 labours – and it is on account of this that the sculpture has gained also another name, „the Weary Hercules“.
This particular copy in Naples was found in the baths of Caracalla in Rome, but is most likely a version of a famous bronze statue sculptured by Lysippos in the 4th century BC.
The „Herakles Farnese“ type is amongst the most popular statues in antiquity. Many replicas and variants have been identified.
Cf. W. Fuchs, Die Skulptur der Griechen (München 1969) p. 101, nr. 95 and p. 103, nr. 95; A. Gramiccia – F. Pagnotta (Edts.), Le collezione del Museo Nazionale di Napoli (Roma 1989) pp. 43-65 and p. 154, nr. 10.
Provenance : Swiss private collection of the 1980's