This is a reduced version of the celebrated monumental antiquity that was discovered in the 16th century in the Baths of Caracalla and was formerly in the Farnese Collection before being moved to the Museo Nationale, Naples. This present Hercules statue is likely to have originally accompanied a statue of the Belvedere Apollo, and to have formed part of a Corinthian-columned chimneypiece, such as one with an Aldobrandini Marriage bas-relief that was commissioned from Rome about 1790 for Cobham Hall, Kent by John 4th Earl of Darnley (d.1831). The Cobham statues stood on pedestals between the chimneypiece's pairs of columns.
A second Cobham chimneypiece, featuring statues of Bacchus with Ariadne and Cupid with Psyche displayed between its paired Doric columns, was seen in 1790 in Rome by Elizabeth Gibbes (d.1847), while in the workshops of the sculptor Carlo Albacini (d.1813). The same groups of Bacchus with Ariadne as well as Cupid with Psyche, after the antiquity in the Capitoline Museum, had been sculpted in the late 1770s for the Duke of Gloucester (d.1805) by Albacini, who was entrusted at that period with the restoration of the Farnese antiquities before their removal to Naples by Ferdinand 1V. In 1786 Albacini provided Frederick Augustus Hervey, 4th Earl of Bristol and Bishop of Derry (d.1803) with a plaster figure of the Farnese Hercules .