Permanent Collection Highlights :: Museum Of Cadiz

Statuette of Hercules (Cádiz)

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Statuette of Hercules (Cadiz) Bronze using the lost-wax technique with silver inlay in the eyes. Numerous prior restorations. Altura conservada, 22 cm. High Imperial Roman period (1st-2nd centuries) Origin Surrounding area of the islet of Sancti Petri (San Fernando-Chiclana de la Frontera, Cádiz). Comments Although it was not found in a very good state, all Hercules' strength and vigour can be seen in this piece, holding the three apples from the Garden of the Hesperides in his right hand. Here we can find the ancient myth linking the hero to the end of the known world, as the sculptor Lysippos viewed him in the 4th century BC, known thanks to the famous Farnese Hercules, replica from the Roman period and adopted as a symbol of the Museum of Cádiz. Nevertheless, this piece poses a series of attribution problems which have not yet been resolved, given that there is no archaeological context. Most researchers date it back to the High Imperial Roman period, being a small scale replica of the cult statue of Melqart-Hercules in the famous temple of Cádiz, known from the coins from the period of Hadrian. The letters H.G. would refer to the offering character of the piece to the sanctuary and its belonging to the actual deity of Hercules Gaditanus, which has already adopted a completely Hellenized iconography, in contrast to its aniconical cult and Eastern liturgy from previous periods.

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