About this object

An under life size male head of what has been identified as Hercules. The god is represented as old and weary with a drawn expression, gazing down and has a fillet and vine leaves on his head and a tainia but not a lionskin. He is represented as the triumphant or resting Hercules. Bartman proposed it represents Hercules in his drinking contest with Bacchus and therefore a suitable piece for a Roman villa. The head was attached to a herm. The beard is in thick locks dramatically executed. Ashmole considered to be a Roman copy of the works by the Greek sculptors Skopas or Lysippos. The treatment at the back of the head is very basic suggesting that the head may have been attached to a wall. The hair and the beard are also very generic and in contrast with the detailed execution of the face. The vine leaves are deeply cut. The hair may have been reworked above the right temple as it is flatter than the left side. There is small breakage on the right ear, ivy wreath and beard.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
    Roman Imperial
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy: Rome
  • Date made
    2nd Century AD
  • Materials
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Col. Joseph W Weld, 1959
  • Collector
    Henry Blundell
  • Place collected
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy: Rome
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    350 mm x 230 mm x 200 mm x 25 kg
  • Note
    Said to have been found on the Lavinian road in Rome, the south road from Rome to the seacost which was lined with villas and tombs. Bought by Blundell from Carlo Albacini. Blundell refers to the head as Hercules Terminalis, the one who presides over boundaries and ascertains the rights of individuals.
  • Related people
    Carlo Albacini ( Previous owner); Henry Blundell ( Collector, previous owner); Joseph William Weld ( Previous owner)

Explore related


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    Publisher: Clarendon Press
    Date: 1929
    Description: An illustrated catalogue of the ancient sculptures collected by Henry Blundell and formerly at Ince Blundell Hall.

  • A Selection from the Ince Blundell Hall Marbles

    Publisher: Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
    Date: 1961

  • An Account of the Statues, Busts, Bass Relieves, Cinerary Urns, and other ancient marbles, and paintings at Ince. Collected by H.B.

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    Date: 1803

  • Ancient Marbles in Great Britain

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    Publisher: Cambridge University Press
    Date: 1882

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    Date: 1981

  • The Ince Blundell collection of classical sculpture Volume III-The ideal sculpture

    Bartman, Elizabeth

    Author: Bartman, Elizabeth
    Publisher: Liverpool University Press
    Date: 2017
    Description: This book investigates the important antiquities collection formed by Henry Blundell of Ince Blundell Hall, near Liverpool, in the late eighteenth century. Consisting of more than 500 ancient marbles - the UK's largest collection of Roman sculptures after that of the British Museum - the collection was assembled primarily in Italy during Blundell's various 'Grant Tour' visits. As ancient statues were the preeminent souvenir of the Grand Tour, Blundell has strong competition from other collectors, British nobility and European aristocrats, monarchs, and the Pope. His statues represent a typical cross section of sculptures that would have decorated ancient Roman houses, villas, public spaces and even tombs, although their precise origins are largely unknown. Most are likely to have come from Rome and at least one was found at Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli.


Previous owners

  • Carlo Albacini

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: Unknown or unrecorded
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • Joseph William Col Sir Weld

    Owned from: 1958
    How acquired: By descent
    Owned until: 1959
    Disposal method: Donation
  • Henry Blundell

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Purchased
    Owned until: 1810
    Disposal method: Bequest
Object view = Humanities
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