Hercules Farnese From the Baths at Perge
Second Century A.D. — Antalya Museum
A beautiful second century A.D. statue of Hercules was found in the baths of Perge. The Boston Museum of Fine Arts returned the top portion of the statue to Turkey in September 2011. Prime Minister Mr. Recep Tayyip Erogan personally brought the important portion to Turkey himself. Portions of over 60 such statues are known and are called the “Hercules Farnese” (named after a famous Italian collection now housed in the Naples National Archaeological Museum). This is a Roman copy of a bronze original. Note the positioning of the head, arms, and legs, and especially the body muscles. The skin of conquered Nemean Lion flows down on his left side as it tumbles to the ground.
It has now been reunited with its body and is on display in the wonderful Antalya Museum.
Below is THE Hercules Farnese that is displayed in the Naples National Archaeological Museum.
Below is a five (5) in. high image of a “Hercules Farnese” found at Pergamum and displayed in the museum in Bergama.
A Bronze Five (5!) Inch High “statue” of Hercules
From Pergamum — In the Museum at Bergama
Heracles was the son of the god Zeus and a mortal Alcmene. Although originally a mortal, he eventually attained divine status and was widely worshiped throughout Greece. As punishment for killing six of his children he had to perform 12 “labors” (= very difficult tasks). The first of which was to kill the Nemean Lion. He wrestled with the lion, strangled it, and subsequently used its pelt as a cloak. (Nemea is a site in the Peloponnese region of Greece).
Most of the statuary from the classical times that grace the museums of the western world are Roman marble copies of bronze statues from earlier periods. Bronze statues are relatively rare because most of them were melted down (recycled) and the bronze was reused for industrial, agricultural, and/or military purposes! On a recent trip to Athens we (Mary and I) visited the Piraeus Archaeological Museum—one that I had never visited before (it is a bit difficult to get to, and the National Archaeological Museum of Athens and the newly opened Acropolis Museum, with their “world-class holdings” rightfully get top billing!).
However, upon entering the Piraeus Archaeological Museum I was very excited to see the four large bronze statues that were on display there.
Artemis “B” — Click on Image to Enlarge and/or Download
This bronze(!) statue of Artemis is smaller than life-size— 5 ft. 1 in. [1.55 m.] tall. In her right hand she held an offering bowl and in her left a bow (missing). It dates to about 200 B.C. The garment that she is wearing is called a peplos—the folds of which area clearly visible. Note the quiver on her back and her hairstyle (to view a detail of her quiver and her back Click Here).
Her weight is resting on her left foot and her right leg is slightly flexed. This statue, along with three others, was found in 1959 during building excavations in Piraeus. They were found as a group and although deposited at the same time, they were crafted at different periods. They were probably deposited in the first century B.C.
Artemis “A” — Click on Image to Enlarge and/or Download
This bronze(!) statue of Artemis dates to the fourth century B.C.! It is larger than life size— 6.4 ft. [1.94 m.] tall. In her right hand she held an offering bowl and in her left a bow (missing). It dates to the fourth century B.C. The garment that she is wearing is called a peplos—the folds of which area clearly visible. Even the marble and chestnut irises of her eyes are preserved!
Her weight is resting on her right foot and the left leg is flexed—in a contrapposto stance. The statue is attributed to the sculptor Euphranor.
To view (and/or download) additional images of these two statues Click Here.