The sculptor carved Herakles and his rocky seat (covered with his lionskin) from separate marble pieces.
The Roman poets Martial and Statius mention a bronze statuette made by the master Greek sculptor Lysippos (active c. 360s-310s BC). It depicted the Greek hero Herakles seated on a rock with a drinking cup and was created for Alexander the Great, who claimed Herakles as an ancestor and carried the sculpture with him on his military campaigns. Later, the work was said to have been acquired by Hannibal, Sulla, and the famed Roman art collector Novius Vindex. The statuette is called epitrapezios (on the table) either because it was designed to be displayed on a tabletop or because it shows Herakles seated, as at a table. Later sculptors made many more versions, including this one, to meet the demand of Roman collectors enamored with Greek art.
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