Hercules Art Analysis

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Introduction

The Hercules artwork is a piece of marble relief with Heracles carrying the Erymanthian boar. The Image days about 27 BC to about 68 A.D during the Augustan or Julio-Claudian era associated with the Roman empires Sidamara style.  The relief is inspired by the Greek mythology of the 12 labours of Herakles or the Greek legend Hercules who was known for his strength and might. The medium for the artwork is marble, and the dimensions for the sculpture are 69.5 x 48.6 x 8.3 cm. The Gallery number for the artwork is 162, and the collection number for this art piece is 13.60.  The piece is my favourite since it tells a story of my favourite Greek hero who I grew up watching on TV programs and who I admire much. The Greek stories immortalized Herakles because of his strength. The cool piece has a rich history and a lot for one to learn.

Heracles was given 12 impossible labours to carry out by King Eurystheus as a punishment for killing his children and wife. The narrative of the 12 jobs inspired painters and sculptors to create artwork on the labours, and this made Herakles a favourite subject for most sculptors (Di, Kelley and Rosario 89). The marble relief is an example of artwork set up with inspiration with Herakles fourth job in which King Eurytheus assigned Herakles to bring him alive Erythathian boar which is known for its massive body, bad temper and with tusks that it uses for defence.  The boar was named the Erymanthian boar because it lived in the Erymanthus Mountains and due to its vicious nature, it could attack men and animals in the nearby villages (Faulkner, Katie and Ayla 123). The task was difficult, but Herakles was determined to accomplish the task, in the marble relief Herakles is seen carrying the bound beast back to the king.

The marble reliefs were common types of sculpture that were set on walls and other places for decoration purposes.  Also, relief sculptures were common in sarcophagus or stone coffins that were intended for display to the public since they presented the family status since only wealthy Romans could afford the sarcophagi (Faulkner, Katie and Ayla 112). Herakles was a famous Greek hero for his accomplishments, and this was the reason he was a subject of many artworks and sculpture. The statue portrays Hercules carrying the Erymanthian boar with the facing forward, showing Heracles powerful musculature with the different muscles well apportioned in the sculpture. The relief sculpture clearly depicts the skin of the Nemean lion that he had earlier killed well knotted on his neck in front of his chest. The lion skin draped over his body is not perfectly sculpted, but it portrays the sculptor’s message. The sculptor failed to use drapery at the different points of interaction between the skins to make the sculpture more realistic. To portray the in the sculpture, the neck muscles are not well highlighted but the prominent muscles of his hands are well depicted, and the proportion of the sculpture is fair but not perfect (Di, Kelley and Rosario 97). The stomach muscles in the sculpture are well toned and prominent. The beast seems to be relaxed over his shoulder with its eyes closed with no evidence of any struggle which might not be the case.  The rendering of the beat is not naturalistic since its resistance and defensive nature is not accurately sculpted.  The posture of Herakles is extraordinary cast out, and the open stance is adequate in accomplishing the weight distribution due to the carried beast.

The analysis of the Olympian relief marble remains provides a history on the level of art development at the time. The fragment of the marble bas-relief is imperfect in its portrayal of Herakles, and it cannot be possible to tell the species of the near since its prominent features are profoundly diminished. During the time of Hercules, two dominant boars lived in the mountains, and there were specific features that were used to distinguish the Peloponnesus and domain boars that existed in Greece 350 years before Christ. From the Greek mythology, the hero startled the Erythematous boar from the mountain and pursued the beat into the forest of Calydon where he captured and bound it. The fragment of the relief marble shows adequate evidence of the identifiable physical characteristics for a mountain boar like the prominent slender tusks that reach the top of the snout, symmetric upper and lower jaw and circular nasal disk. Although there is sufficient evidence to distinguish the boar the features are an imperfect presentation of the boar portrays the level of skills of the sculptor in creating animal sculptors at the time. The sculpture also shows evidence of wear and tear through the cracks and missing pieces. Also, the edges have discoloured a characteristic of limestone oxidation over time due to exposure to natural weather elements.

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