Hercules and Lichas
Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Rome, Italy
“Hercules and Lichas” was a sculpture that was developed over an extended period due to its size – it stands at just under eleven feet tall – and the turbulent times in which it was made. Commissioned by Onorrato Gaetani, a Neapolitan nobleman, from Canova, Gaetani also proposed the subject be drawn from Greek mythology. Hercules sent his herald Lichas to fetch him a cloak. His wife had dipped it in a magical fluid with the intent of keeping Hercules faithful. Instead, it poisoned him, and driven mad by anger and pain he flung Lichas into the sea.
Born: 1 November 1757, Veneto, Italy
Died: 13 October 1822, Venice, Italy
Canova was a Neoclassical sculptor, particularly known for his marble sculptures. His sculpture was inspired by the Baroque and the classical revival; however, he avoided the melodramatics of Baroque and the cold artificiality of the Classical revival
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