How does the sculptor Lysippos alter the Classical esthetic in The Weary Hercules?

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The Weary Hercules, also known as the Farnese Hercules, is of tremendous importance to art historians because it is one of the best-surviving statues of the classical age, one that provides insight into the original sculptor made classical Greek sculptor Lysippos.

The Weary Hercules is just that—tired. He slopes with exhaustion over his club, looking down at the ground with a haggard, drawn expression. Hercules has just completed one of his great trials (most likely gathering the apples of Hesperides, since he is clutching the fruit in his back hand), and its degree of difficulty is clearly expressed in this sculpture.

This is a major contrast from other classical works that meant to emphasize the divine and the powerful among the Greek gods. Contrast it to the Artemision Bronze, a statue that may represent Hercules' father, Zeus: the Artemision Bronze is strong, upright, confident, and ready to deliver a bolt of lightning.

This change may also reflect a difference between the Greek original and the Roman copy. It was typical of Greek art to appeal to an idealized version, while Roman art was much more realistic—evidence of Roman paintings, sculpture, and even coins with facial imperfections testifies to the Roman desire to depict people as they are.

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