The exhibition illustrates the figure of Hercules with a selection of extraordinary paintings and art objects created in classical antiquity and between the 16th and 18th centuries.These works are testimony of the great fortune of the iconography and narrative of Hercules and key episodes of his life, and celebrate the powerful fascination with his image across the centuries.The exhibition also marks the end of the restoration of the "Fountain of Hercules", that lies at the heart of the 17th century Gardens of the Reggia.
The path to Venaria opens with a section that traces the origin of the myth in the pagan era, with a series of archaeological finds of great value and refinement, such as vases, amphorae, cups, made in the Greek region of Attica between 560 and 480 BC, from the Antikenmuseum of Basel, which depict different canonical achievements of the hero; among these stand the monumental amphora of the Berlin Painter, one of the greatest expressions of Athenian ceramics and the hydria (vase) attributed to the Group of Pioneers.
The exhibition continues with the part that testifies to the diffusion of the representation of the Herculean legend in the Roman area, with some bronze or terracotta statuettes, as well as a colossal head of Hercules at rest, a copy of the second half of the 1st century BC. of a work by Lysippus dating back to 320/310 BC
Or again, the plaster cast of the bronze group of Hercules with the Cerinea deer by Lisippo from the Basel Skulpturhalle or two painted plaster from the Augusteum of Herculaneum, now preserved in the National Archaeological Museum of Naples, depicting Heracles with the Boar with the Lion of Nemea. The section closes with two silver cups made by Gianmaria Buccellati, embossed and engraved with the labors of Hercules, whose shapes are inspired by those of as many skyphoi found in Pompeii in the house of Menander and of which the manufacturing steps can be seen on display , still today identical to the ancient ones.