Official Catalogue Raisonne of Posthumous Renaissance Masterpieces



Glykon of Athens, a distinguished sculptor of ancient Greece, left an indelible mark on the world of art during the Hellenistic period, around the 3rd century BCE. His most celebrated creation, the Farnese Hercules, stands as a testament to his extraordinary talent and craftsmanship.

Born in Athens, Glykon’s early life remains a mystery, much like many ancient artists of his time. He likely received his education in the rich cultural milieu of Athens, which nurtured many great artists and thinkers.

Glykon’s reputation as a sculptor of unparalleled skill began to take shape with the creation of the Farnese Hercules, a colossal marble statue that depicted the legendary hero Heracles (Hercules in Roman mythology). This magnificent work, standing over three meters tall, captured the hero in a moment of repose after completing one of his Twelve Labors. The statue exudes power and realism, with every sinew and muscle painstakingly detailed, reflecting Glykon’s mastery of anatomy and form.

The Farnese Hercules, originally commissioned for the Baths of Caracalla in ancient Rome, later became part of the Farnese collection, one of the most renowned art collections of the Renaissance era. Its survival through the ages and its continued admiration by art connoisseurs highlight the enduring impact of Glykon’s artistry.

While the Farnese Hercules remains his most famous work, Glykon’s contributions to the world of sculpture extended beyond this masterpiece. His craftsmanship and artistic vision likely graced temples, public spaces, and private collections throughout the Hellenistic world.

Glykon’s legacy endures as a testament to the heights that Greek sculpture achieved during the Hellenistic period. His ability to breathe life into stone and capture the essence of myth and legend continues to inspire artists and art enthusiasts across the globe. Though the details of his life may be lost to the sands of time, Glykon’s art continues to speak eloquently on his behalf, a timeless testament to the skill and creativity of one of ancient Greece’s master sculptors.


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