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A ROMAN MARBLE TORSO OF HERCULES
A ROMAN MARBLE TORSO OF HERCULES
A ROMAN MARBLE TORSO OF HERCULES
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PROPERTY FROM A NORTH AMERICAN PRIVATE COLLECTION
A ROMAN MARBLE TORSO OF HERCULES

CIRCA 1ST-2ND CENTURY A.D.

Details
A ROMAN MARBLE TORSO OF HERCULES
CIRCA 1ST-2ND CENTURY A.D.
31 ½ in. (80 cm.) high
Provenance
Wright S. Ludington (1900-1991), Montecito, California, acquired in the early 20th century.
The Santa Barbara Museum of Art, gifted from the above, 1993 (Accession no. 1993.1.87).
Santa Barbara Museum of Art; Antiquities, Sotheby’s, New York, 14 June 2000, lot 63.
Literature
"The Collectors: Wright Ludington," Architectural Digest, January/February 1973, p. 84.
Exhibited
Santa Barbara Museum of Art.
Sale Room Notice
Please note additional provenance for this lot: "The Collectors: Wright Ludington," Architectural Digest, January/February 1973, p. 84.

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Lot Essay

Hercules is the emblematic hero of Greco-Roman mythology, embodying classical conceptions of ideal masculinity, strength and perseverance. As such, the hero finds himself as one of the most reproduced subjects in both Greek and Roman art across varying media. Bronze and marble sculptors favored Hercules particularly as he provided a ripe opportunity to depict the idealized male form in all its muscular glory. The present example, dating to the Roman Imperial period, finds the model for its dynamic musculature from a 4th century B.C. example, colloquially called the Copenhagen/Dresden Herakles, thought to have been created by a follower of Polykleitos around 360 B.C. (see nos. 667 and 668 in J. Boardman, "Herakles," in LIMC, vol. IV). The addition of the Nemean lion-skin cape tied at the paws above his pectorals, finds a parallel in a slightly later sculptural type created around 325-320 B.C., exemplified in an example at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (op. cit., no. 465).

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