Date: Second half of 2nd century A.D.
Dimensions: High 383 cm
Materials: Golden Bronze
Adopted By: The Northwest Chapter
Total Cost: € 27,000
Founded in 1864 under the courtyard of Palazzo Pio Righetti in Campo de’ Fiori, in the area of the ancient theater of Pompey inaugurated in 55 BC, Pope Pius IX Mastai received this gilded bronze statue. At the time of the discovery, the statue was laid horizontally inside a pit, covered with travertine slabs on which the following letters were engraved: F C S, or F (ulgur) C (onditum) S (ummanium). The Heracles had been struck by lightning and, according to its burial by the Romans, it was laid to rest with the remains of a lamb as a ritual. The statue, extensively restored by Pietro Tenerani who created additions made mainly in plaster, depicts a young Hercules leaning on the club, with the knobs of the Hesperides in his left hand. Once dated between 390 and 370 BC, the work, perhaps inspired by a model of Attic school, is now dated between the end of the 1st century AD and the beginning of the third century AD.
There has been no intervention on the colossal bronze upon its placement in the Vatican. Therefore, the detachment of the plaster additions are causing numerous critical issues which are also harmful to the phenomenon of oxidation of the bronze. A restoration intervention is necessary which, given its complexity, will be preceded by a thorough campaign of diagnostic investigations by the Scientific Research Laboratory according to the indications of the Metal Restoration Laboratory and the supervision of the Greek and Roman Antiquities Department.