Collection: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Title: Herakles from Sparta
Context: Possibly from Sparta
Findspot: Said to be found at Sparta
Summary: Idealized male face, wearing a lion's-head scalp
Sculptor: In the style of Lysippos
Material: Marble
Sculpture Type: Free-standing statue
Category: Separated fragments
Style: Late Classical/Hellenistic
Original or Copy: Original
Date: ca. 325 BC
Dimensions: H. 0.24 m
Scale: Life-size
Region: Laconia
Period: Early Hellenistic

Subject Description: The identification as Herakles is assured because of the (Nemean) lion's-scalp helmet, which was Herakles' life-long attribute after he defeated the Nemean lion. The likeness of the face to that of the idealized Alexander the Great, sculpted by Lysippos, has encouraged scholars to interpret this piece as a portrait of Alexander in the guise of Herakles.

Condition: Single piece

Condition Description: Only the front of the head, i.e. the face, the front of the helmet, and some intervening hair, have been preserved. The front left of the lion's maul is missing. The surface is slightly pockmarked on the left and marred with dark gray adhesions on the right.

Technique Description: Given the state of this piece it is unclear whether this head was originally sculpted in high relief or in the round.

Sources Used: Boardman 1995, 72, fig. 61