Mercury resting

This statuette, found in the region of Neufchâtel in Seine-Maritime, presents a relatively rare image of the god, who is depicted as a strongly-built man sitting naked on a rock.
The representation of the god as a naked, broad-shouldered man was fairly common in Roman art, but the image of the seated Mercury was far less common than that of Mercury standing. It allows us to draw attention to another aspect of the deity, as the work may portray Mercury resting after flying to deliver a message. It is interesting to note that this mode of representation was inspired (as was very often the case) by an older Greek model.
We know of a bronze statue discovered in Herculanum (in the Villa of the Papyri, near Pompeii) which shows Mercury in the same pose. But our statuette, which differs both in style and in attributes, was clearly adapted to the tastes of the Romans of Gaul.