Child Statue of Hercules

Inv. Scu 1016

This monumental statue represents the hero Hercules as a child and is made of basalt.

The god is shown nude with the exception of the iconographic lion skin worn over his head. The legs and paws of the animal are easily visible as they rest on the chest of the boy and another length of skin drapes his left arm.

The skin comes from the Nemean Lion, whose murder was one of the famous twelve labors of Hercules.

In his open left hand, the boy Hercules holds the apples of the Hesperides and in his right his club – each of these objects are also typical attributes of the hero.

The volcanic rock, from which the piece was constructed, is a very hard material and makes the sculpting process difficult. The figure’s abdomen and thigh muscles are well-defined, but the rest of the body seems flat and therefore inanimate.

The work dates to the end of the third century A.D. and it comes from the Aventine hill.