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Identification and Creation

Object Number
Torso of Herakles, copy after a Greek original
Work Type
1st-3rd century CE
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Europe
Roman Imperial period, Middle
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Dolomitic marble, probably from Thasos
34.5 x 23 x 13 cm (13 9/16 x 9 1/16 x 5 1/8 in.)

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Bequest of David M. Robinson
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art

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Published Catalogue Text: Stone Sculptures: The Greek, Roman and Etruscan Collections of the Harvard University Art Museums , written 1990

Weary Herakles

The head and lower legs are missing. The head and neck are broken away irregularly, as are all of the right arm, the right leg across the upper thigh, and the left leg across the middle of the thigh.

This is a Roman version of one of the statues associated with Lysippos, a figure grasping a club in the left hand and wearing a lionskin like a cloak over the left shoulder and arm. The right hand (all of the right arm is gone) presumably held the apples of the Hesperides against the right rear buttock.

Among the many copies and variants of Weary Herakles, rustic examples such as this have been found in Gaul, western Germany, North Africa, and Asia Minor. A section of an Attic relief of the Roman Imperial period in Leiden show a Herakles of this type, grasping his club in similar fashion. The whole figure is in mirror reversal, as happens more than once with Weary Herakles in Roman art, both in decorative statues and reliefs in architectural settings.

Cornelius Vermeule and Amy Brauer

Publication History

  • Fogg Art Museum, The David Moore Robinson Bequest of Classical Art and Antiquities, A Special Exhibition, exh. cat., Harvard University (Cambridge, MA, 1961), p. 27, no. 214
  • Cornelius C. Vermeule III and Amy Brauer, Stone Sculptures: The Greek, Roman and Etruscan Collections of the Harvard University Art Museums, Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 1990), p. 77, no. 59

Exhibition History

  • The David Moore Robinson Bequest of Classical Art and Antiquities: A Special Exhibition, Fogg Art Museum, 05/01/1961 - 09/20/1961
  • Ancient Installation at Fitchburg Art Museum, Fitchburg Art Museum, Fitchburg, 09/30/2013 - 01/26/2015

Verification Level

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at