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    Sale 11899

    Sculpture

    13 April 2016, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 44

    A BRONZE FIGURE OF HERCULES RESTING

    NORTH ITALIAN, LATE 15TH OR EARLY 16TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A BRONZE FIGURE OF HERCULES RESTING
    NORTH ITALIAN, LATE 15TH OR EARLY 16TH CENTURY
    On a later cylindrical marble base
    12 1/8 in. (30.6 cm.) high; 18 1/8 in. (46 cm.) high, overall


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    The present bronze is probably derived from an antique model, albeit no single direct classical prototype has yet been identified. Radcliffe and Camins discussed some possible sources but the figure of Hercules might also be a free invention after various classical prototypes (locs. cit.).
    Seven other casts of the present bronze are known, diverging in their details and in their finish, and thus realized by different workshops. All versions are heavily cast but two appear to be late aftercasts (Museo Estense, Modena, inv. no. 2245; Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum, Brunswick, inv. no. Bro 34). The others appear to be early casts, from northern Italy in the late fifteenth or early sixteenth centuries. A cast of this bronze was known in Venice early in the sixteenth century, as the figure appears in a sacrifice scene on the reverse of a self-portrait medal by Vittore Gambello, called ‘Camelio’ (circa 1455/60-1537) dated 1508. Many drawings and engravings of the figure also indicate that this model was well-known in northern and central Italy at that time (Radcliffe, op. cit., pp. 74, 78).
    The Hercules from the Robert H. Smith collection is the closest to the present bronze; both bronzes having more elaborated and characterized faces than the others. The Abbott Guggenheim bronze differs in that its surface is carefully and vigorously hammered overall. Among the early casts, Radcliffe suggests that only the present bronze, the one from the Smith collection and the one of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (inv. A.1137-1910) are direct casts typical of the fifteenth century (op. cit., p. 78).

    Pre-Lot Text

    Property from the Abbott-Guggenheim Collection


    Literature

    A. Radcliffe, N. Penny, The Robert H. Smith Collection: The Art of Renaissance Bronze 1500-1650, London, 2004, pp. 70-79, no. 11.
    M. Schwartz, ed., European Sculpture from the Abbott Guggenheim Collection, New York, 2008, p. 29, no. 5.


    Exhibited

    San Francisco, The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Renaissance and Baroque Bronzes from the Abbott Guggenheim Collection, 3 Mar. – 11 Sep. 1988, L. Camins ed., pp. 68-70, no. 22.