Columniated Sarcophagus with the Labors of Hercules and Cover with the Deceased Couple Recumbent

The valuable sarcophagus, of considerable size, is surmounted by a kline cover with two semi-recumbent figures, a man and a woman embraced. The sides of the coffer are articulated by aedicules, five on the long sides and three on the short sides. In each aedicule is represented a labor of Hercules, on the forehead the first five labours of the hero: the Nemean Lion, the Lernaean Hydra, the Erymanthian Boar, the Ceryneian Hind and the Stymphalian Birds, while on the back side the other five: the fight with Cretan Bull, King Diomedes of Thrace, Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, the monster Geryon and Cerberus. Finally, on the short right side there is the representation of a female figure, probably a cult statue, flanked by two figures of Hercules at rest, while on the short left side the decoration has a figure of suppliant and one of Hermes / Mercury, separated in the center by the door of Hades. The Torlonia sarcophagus is part of a group of monumental sarcophagi made by workshops in Asia minor in the second century of AD and is one of the best preserved specimens.

Inventory: MT 420

Material: White marble

Technique: Work sculpted through the use of: chisels (also square-tipped and toothed) rasps

Dating: Imperial age

Origin: Formerly in Palazzo Savelli Orsini, in Monte Savello; purchased for Palazzo Torlonia in Piazza Venezia in the early nineteenth century; transferred to the Lungara Museum by 1876