Lansdowne Herakles Analysis

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On our field trip to the Getty villa this semester, we had to choose an art piece that stood out to us among the many there. The task at hand seemed easier than it was, as there were many art pieces that held my attention. One thing I kept in mind was that many of the Greek art pieces were either recovered from the bottom of the sea or were Roman duplicates. This meant finding background and details about them would be challenging. Of the art pieces, the Statue of Hercules or the “Lansdowne Herakles” was the one that I chose to write about. According to Getty.edu, the art piece was named after Lord Lansdowne, a British noble who displayed the statue in his estate in London. The origins of the statue are unknown but speculated to be a Roman copy made from the famous school of Polykleitos. Workshops during ancient times tasked aspiring students with the menial labor of creating backgrounds and most of the form of sculptures; the masters finishing them up with the fine details such as the face and especially hands. Many Romans were quite fond of Greek culture and art, emulating and duplicating them on numerous occasions. Greek culture was taken and given a Roman twist as seen with the mythological …show more content…

The demigod son of Zeus himself, Herakles would have to endure and complete eight labors to atone for killing his wife and children. Much did Heracles suffer during this time, killing his own wife and children after being driven mad by Zeus’s wife Hera out of spite. Herakles story is relatable to the struggles of man, more so the other Gods in the sense that Pathos is personified throughout his story. Even at the bitter end, Herakles is betrayed through trickery that ends with his demise. It was unlike any of the ancient civilizations to portray a God as having human or mortal essence. For this reason Herakles remains one of the most represented and known of all Greek

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