Votive relief to Herakles Alexikakos

Late Classical Period
first half of the 4th century B.C.

Place of Manufacture: Greece, Attica, Athens

Catalogue Raisonné

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.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Marble, from tMt. Pentelikon near Athens

Not On View


The Ancient World



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.

Scientific Analysis:

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

Credit Line

Catharine Page Perkins Fund