Votive Statuette of Hercle

Object Details


Votive Statuette of Hercle






Etruria (Place created)


320 - 280 B.C.




24.3 cm (9 9/16 in.)

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Hercle, the Etruscan version of the Greek hero Herakles, is here depicted as a nude youth, standing relaxed with his weight on one foot. Originally his extended hand held a round object, perhaps an apple as a reference to the apples of the Hesperides, Herakles' last labor. The skin of the Nemean Lion confirms the hero's identity. Hercle wears the skin on his head with the front paws tied around his neck. By the late 300s or early 200s B.C., this depiction of Herakles wearing the lionskin over his head had gone out of favor in Greek art, but it remained popular among the Etruscans. This seemingly old-fashioned element in the statue is offset by the artist's knowledge of recent developments in Greek sculpture, as evidenced by the figure's contrapposto pose.

Hercle was a very popular figure in Etruscan bronze statuary. A worshipper probably placed this statuette in an Etruscan sanctuary as an offering to the deity.

- 1907

William Rome, English, died 1907 (London, England), sold at auction in December 1907.

- 1970

Kevorkian Foundation [sold, Egyptian, Western Asiatic, Greek and Roman Antiquities: The Property of the Kevorkian Foundation, Sotheby's, London, December 8, 1970, lot 34.]

by 1973 - still in 1987

James Coats (New York, New York)

by 1994 - 1996

Barbara Fleischman

and Lawrence Fleischman, American, 1925 - 1997 (New York, New York), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1996.

A Passion for Antiquities: Ancient Art from the Collection of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman (October 13, 1994 to April 23, 1995) (80)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), October 13, 1994 to January 15, 1995
  • The Cleveland Museum of Art, (Cleveland), February 14 to April 23, 1995
Ancient Art from the Permanent Collection (March 16, 1999 to May 23, 2004) (80)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 16, 1999 to May 23, 2004
Transforming Tradition: Ancient Motifs in Medieval Manuscripts (September 23 to November 30, 2003) (80)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), September 23 to November 30, 2003
The Aztec Pantheon and the Art of Empire (March 24 to July 5, 2010) (80)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa, (Malibu), March 24 to July 5, 2010

Reinach, Salomon. Repertoire de la statuaire grecque et romaine. Paris: 1897-1930. Vol. IV, p. 128, no. 3 (fig leaf later removed).

Reinach, S. "L'Heracles de Polyclete," Revue des etudes anciennes (1910). p. 6f.

Sotheby's, London. Sale cat., December 8, 1970. p. 21, lot 34.

Sheard, Wendy Stedman. Antiquity in the Renaissance. Exh. cat. Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, Mass. 1978. no. 32 ills. ("unpublished"!).

Uhlenbrock, Jaimee P. Herakles. Passage of the Hero through 1000 Years of Classical Art. Exh. cat., Edith C. Blum Art Institute, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, March-May 1986. New Rochelle, NY: 1986. no. 32.

Schwarz, Shirley J. "Herakles/Hercle," Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae V (1990), pp. 196-253. p. 203, no. 44.

True, Marion, and Kenneth Hamma, eds. A Passion For Antiquities. Ancient Art from the Collection of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman. The J. Paul Getty Museum. Malibu: 1994. pp. 173-74, cat. no. 80.

"Museum Acquisitions Between July 1, 1996, and June 30, 1998." The Report of the J. Paul Getty Trust, 1997-1998. p. 65.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Antiquities Collection (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2002) p. 138.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 7th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2007) p. 14, ill.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Antiquities Collection. Rev. ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2010) p. 132.

Mattusch, Carol C. Enduring Bronze: Ancient Art, Modern Views (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2014) pp. 36, 38, fig. 16.

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