Skip to product information
1 of 5

Etruscan Bronze Statuette of Herakles (Hercules)

Etruscan Bronze Statuette of Herakles (Hercules)

Regular price €9.200,00
Regular price Sale price €9.200,00
Sale Sold out
Tax included. Shipping calculated at checkout.

Classical period, c. 480-300 BC, Etruria, Italy

Exceptional, important and highly elegant small-sized bronze statuette depicts the mythological hero Herakles, known to the Etruscans as Hercle, standing clothless in contrapposto, his weight resting on his right leg while his left leg is slightly bent. Youthful Hercle has his right hand raised, waving a club, now missing. The Nemean lion skin is draped over his extended left arm and refers to the first of his twelve labours. The skin is rendered in some detail with the head, paws and tail all clearly defined. The figure has a rounded head with large round eyes, a well-defined mouth, and pointy nose. The distinctive cap-like hair of the head is marked with parallel incised lines extending from front to back. This detailed study of the male form is incredibly naturalistic and refined. The surface is highly polished drawing attention to the well-developed muscles of his body, the arms, stomach, buttocks, thighs, knees, and calves. On the underside of Hercle's feet are two integral tangs, which served to fix the statuette to a base, now a modern Carrara marble plinth.

Herakles, or Hercle, was a popular subject in Etruscan art, as in Greek and Roman a symbol of strength and courage. In northern Italy he was worshipped as a defender of the civilized world against the beasts or monsters that threatened it. He is often depicted in bronze statuettes, many of which may have been made as votive figures, to be offered at a shrine to the deity. There were numerous sanctuaries dedicated to him  in Etruria, particularly in the Sabellian region, and the bronze statuettes discovered here exhibit a wide range of styles. Etruscan bronze statuettes were cast solid by the lost-wax method. After casting the details, such as the short curly hair, were added by engraving.

Excellent condition. Wear consistent with age and use. Parts of the club and hands is missing. A sharp bronze with a fine glossy black-green patina. Size approx. 10,4cm x 5,5cm x 3,2cm (excluding the base).

Provenance: Private collection from Finland. 

NB! This object has been examined and evaluated by The Finnish National Gallery.

For a similar examples see:

Statuette of Herakles, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Accession Number: 96.9.430 (

Statuette "Hercule", Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, Accession Number: bronze.551, bronze.530 & bronze.528

Statuette of Herakles (Hercules), National Trust Collections, Accession Number: 515071 (

References and further reading:

Italy of the Etruscans, Ines Jucker, Verlag P. von Zabern, 1991.

Greek, Etruscan & Roman Bronzes in the Museum of Fine Arts, Mary Comstock  and Cornelius Vermeule, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Boston, 1971.

View full details
  • Shipping

    The shipment will be prepared in the course of 3-5 days and dispatched via Posti Group Oyj or purchased item(s) can be picked up from our shop during the store's opening hours (Tarkk’ampujankatu 4, 00140, Helsinki, Finland). Within the Finland, all items are shipped via Posti Group Oyj unless otherwise requested. We pack the items carefully and mainly in recycled materials because we want to save nature. You will receive the tracking number for your items by e-mail.

  • Returns

    Returns and exchange will be accepted within fourteen days (14) of receipt at the purchaser’s cost to include freight and packaging. Items must be returned in the same condition as when they were shipped, and will not be accepted if damaged or altered in any way. Please inform us via email ( or by calling +358408408352 before sending. We do not accept returns more than 14 days after delivery.