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A small-scale model of the celebrated statue of the Farnese Hercules, plaster.

Museum number: A75

Curatorial note

The statue shows the hero resting after stealing the apples of the Hesperides which he is holding behind his back.

The original statue was made for the massive Baths of Caracalla in Rome, probably made at the time of their construction in the early third century AD. A Greek inscription on the base records that it was made by the Athenian sculptor Glykon and it was probably based on a celebrated earlier Greek figure made for Alexander the Great by the court sculptor Lysippos. The statue was excavated in the sixteenth century and was acquired by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, hence its name. Today it is in the Museo Nazionale in Naples (no. 280).

Exhibition history

Rubens: A Master in the Making, The National Gallery, London, 26 October 2005 - 15 January 2006


If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: worksofart@soane.org.uk