PUGET, Pierre
(b. 1620, Marseille, d. 1694, Marseille)

Hercules at Rest

Marble, height 180 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

This sculpture, originally intended for the Château of Vaux-le-Vicomte residence of the superintendant of Finance, Fouquet, having belonged to Colbert, the great minister of Louis XIV.

The figure of Hercules played an important role in the iconography of 17th-18th-century France. The French accepted the legend that the Trojan Hercules had been the tenth king of the Gaul. A Gallic Hercules (who was also the god of eloquence) was celebrated in honour of François I. Furthermore, Henri IV and Louis XIII lent their features to the hero.