Herakles Carrying the Erymathian Boar

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The paintings described art work is Sculpture of Heracles carrying the Erymanthian boar 248739, Marble, Metropolitan Museum of art, NY, Gallery 162, Collection number 13.60 by way of an unknown artist. It is a piece of marble relief with Herakles carrying the Erymanthian boar. The relief dates to about 27 BC to about sixty eight A.D during the Augustan or Julio-Claudian era related with the roman empires Sidamara style. The relief is inspired by way of the Greek mythology of the 12 labors of Herakles or the Greek legend Hercules who was known for his electricity and might. The medium for the artwork is marble, and the dimensions for the sculpture are 69.5 x 48.6 x 8.3 cm (Unknown). The Gallery number for the artwork is 162, and the collection number for this art piece is 13.60. Figure 1 shows the image of the art piece. The collected piece has a rich history and a lot for one to learn, first the art work is inspired by the Greek tale of the 12 labors of Herakles.

Heracles was given 12 impossible labors to carry out by King Eurystheus as a punishment for killing his children and wife. The narrative of the 12 labors inspired painters and sculptors to create artwork on the labors, and this made Herakles a favorite subject for most sculptors. The marble relief is an example of artwork created with inspiration with Herakles fourth labor in which King Eurytheus assigned Herakles to bring him alive Erythathian boar which is known for its massive body, bad temper and with tusks that it uses for defense (Museum). The boar was named the Erymanthian boar because it lived in the Erymanthus Mountains and due to its vicious nature it could attack men and animals in the nearby villages. The task was difficult, but Herakles was determined to accomplish the task, in the marble relief Herakles is seen carrying the bound beast back to the king.

The marble reliefs were common types of sculpture that were set on walls and other places for decoration purposes. Also, relief sculptures were common in sarcophagus or stone coffins that were intended for display to the public since they displayed the family status since only rich Romans could afford the sarcophagi. Herakles was a celebrated Greek hero for his accomplishments, and this was the reason he was a subject of many artworks and sculpture. The sculpture portrays Hercules carrying the Erymanthian boar with the facing forward, showing Heracles powerful musculature with the different muscles well apportioned in the sculpture. The relief sculpture clearly depicts the skin of the Nemean lion that he had earlier killed well knotted on his neck in front of his chest. The lion skin draped over his body is not perfectly sculpted, but it portrays the sculptor’s message (Museum). The sculptor failed to use drapery at the different points of interaction between the skins to make the sculpture more realistic. To portray the in the sculpture, the neck muscles are not well highlighted but the prominent muscles of his hands are well depicted, and the proportion of the sculpture is fair but not perfect. The stomach muscles in the sculpture are well toned and prominent. The beast seems to be relaxed over his shoulder with its eyes closed with no evidence of any struggle which might not be the case. The rendering of the beat is not naturalistic since its resistance and defensive nature is not accurately sculpted. The posture of Herakles is exceptional cast out, and the open stance is adequate in accomplishing the weight distribution due to the carried beast.

The analysis of the Olympian relief marble remains provides a history on the level of art development at the time. The fragment of the marble bas-relief is imperfect in its portrayal of Herakles, and it cannot be possible to tell the species of the near since its prominent features are heavily diminished. During the time of Hercules, there were two dominant boars that lived in the mountains, and there were specific features that were used to distinguish the Peloponnesus and domain boars that existed in Greece 350 years before Christ. From the Greek mythology, the hero startled the Erythematous boar from the mountain and pursued the beat into the forest of Calydon where he captured and bound it. The fragment of the relief marble shows adequate evidence of the identifiable physical characteristics for a mountain boar like the prominent slender tusks that reach the top of the snout, symmetric upper and lower jaw and circular nasal disk. Although there is sufficient evidence to distinguish the boar the features are an imperfect presentation of the boar portrays the level of skills of the sculptor in creating animal sculptors at the time. The sculpture also shows evidence of wear and tear through the cracks and missing pieces. Also, the edges have discolored a characteristic of limestone oxidation over time due to exposure to natural weather elements.

Cited work

Museum, British. London and Paris Observer. London: British museum, 2007.

Unknown. Metropolian Museum. 4 June 2010. 24 March 2017 .

Appendix

Figure 1: Unkown Artist, Sculpture of Heracles carrying the Erymanthian boar 248739, Marble, Metropolitan Museum of art, NY, Gallery 162, Collection number 13.60.

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