Torso of Heracles

Torso di Herakles su erma moderna
Hadrien era (first half of 2nd century AD - beginning of 3rd century AD). Restoration by Cavaceppi (end of 18th century)
Material and technique: 
Marble of Luni
massima alt. 116 cm prof. 28 cm
From Palazzo Torlonia df Piazza Venezia, after in the Theatre of Villa Torlonia

This Heracles passed to the Torlonia family from Cavaceppi’s workshop after the sculptor’s death. It was transferred from the palace in Piazza Venezia to the Villa on Via Nomentana, perhaps during the rebuilding works (1830–40) and was placed in an external niche in the Theatre.
During restoration, Cavaceppi cut the legs of the statue and mounted them on a modern herm, as was customary for the period.
The rear section of the work was left unfinished so as not to contrast with the “unfinished frontal”, in keeping with the new manner of restoration by the sculptor, due to the influence exerted by Winckelman, who had suggested greater respect should be shown to the ancient original.
The Torlonia Heracles is shown as a mature man with a beard, curly hair adorned with a twisted taenia, and muscular chest.
His lionskin lies across his left shoulder and his club is held firmly in his left hand.
Iconographically, the statue can be linked to the Herakles bibax or dexioumenos from the second half of the fourth century BC.
The Torlonia replica can be dated to the late Antonine or early Severian periods (second to third century AD).

Masterpieces of the hall

The hall


The piano nobile is reached up an ingenious staircase, created by Carinetti in a small space, with marble steps and finely worked bronze balustrade by Filippo Ghirlanda.

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