This gilded bronze statue was found in 1864 beneath the courtyard of the Palazzo Pio Righetti, near Campo de’ Fiori, and in the area of Pompey’s Theatre. Shortly afterwards it was given to Pope Pius IX (1846-1878). At the moment of discovery the statue was lying horizontally in a trench and covered by a slab of travertine on which the letters F C S (Fulgur Conditum Summanium) had been cut. The statue had, therefore, been struck by lightning and, following the Roman custom, had been granted a ritual burial together with the remains of a lamb. The statue was restored by Pietro Tenerani who made repairs using plaster and bronze. It shows a young Heracles leaning on his club, with the skin of the Nemean lion over his arm, and the apples of the Hesperides in his left hand. The work was, perhaps, inspired by a model from the Attic School of between 390 and 370 B.C. and has been variously dated to between the end of the 1st and the beginning of the 3rd century A.D.

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