Votive relief to Herakles Alexikakos
Late Classical Period
first half of the 4th century B.C.
Place of Manufacture: Greece, Attica, Athens
Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 077; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 108-109 (additional published references).
Height x width: 53 x 67.5 cm (20 7/8 x 26 9/16 in.)
Medium or Technique
Marble, from tMt. Pentelikon near Athens
Not On View
The relief is topped by a simple molding and terminates below in a flat, projecting band which acts as a base for the figures. Herakles points his right hand to the shrine beside him. A lion’s skin hangs from his left arm, and his left hand holds a club. Its end, chisled off, rested on the floor of the shrine. The shrine comprises two unfluted Doric columns on a base of three steps and supporting an architrave with a projecting taenia at the top. A krater on a stand, resembling examples in bronze, stands on the architrave.
The top step of the base bears the inscription (add Greek) indicating a dedication to Herakles as Averter of Evil.
The second youthful figure, gazing at Herakles, wears only a chlamys, and a petasos hanging at his back. His left hand probably held a kerykeion, added in paint and confirming his identification as Hermes. Between the two figures are traces of a painted inscription, in which the name Herakles has been thought to be distinguishable.
The edges of the slab are smoothed; the back is roughly worked, with an inset area at the bottom. This probably served to set the relief in its base. The upper right-hand corner has been broken off, and the crowning molding has been chipped in several places. The marble has acquired the usual yellow hue.
University of South Florida Lab No. 84011-12: Isotope ratios - delta13C +2.7 (fresh marble), 2.6 (surface) / delta18O -5.0 (fresh marble), -4.9 (surface)
Attribution - Mt. Pentelikon. Justification - C and O isotopes, fine grain, Attic style, from Attica
By date unknown: with Edward Perry Warren (according to Warren's records: "Found in the Piraeus in a "heiligthum" "[sanctuary].); purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren, October 1896
Catharine Page Perkins Fund