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    Sale 7745

    Important European Furniture, Sculpture & Clocks

    9 July 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 54

    A RECTANGULAR CARVED MARBLE RELIEF OF HERCULES

    ATTRIBUTED TO THE WORKSHOP OF MICHAEL RYSBRACK (1694-1770), CIRCA 1740-60

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A RECTANGULAR CARVED MARBLE RELIEF OF HERCULES
    ATTRIBUTED TO THE WORKSHOP OF MICHAEL RYSBRACK (1694-1770), CIRCA 1740-60
    Hercules recumbent in the centre and being disarmed by three putti; very minor chips to the edges
    10¼ x 20 in. (26 x 50.8 cm.)


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    The present marble relief clearly originates from the immediate circle of Michael Rysbrack, the foremost sculptor in Britain for much of the 1730s, '40s and '50s. The languid pose of the hero, the muscular treatment of the body and the sophisticated execution in shallow relief of the tree in the background all find parallels in Rysbrack's oeuvre such as his Brittania receiving the riches of the Orient, made as the central panel of a fireplace for the East India Office (see Webb, op. cit., fig. 64). In fact, Rysbrack and his workshop had a lucrative business producing marble fireplaces and, compositionally, the present relief could almost act as a pendant to a fireplace relief executed by Rysbrack for Hopetoun House in Scotland (Eustace, op. cit., fig. 21). Interestingly, another fireplace, with a traditional provenance from Glamis Castle in Scotland (sold Sotheby's, New York, 26 April 2008, lot 134), has a central relief with a virtually identical composition, although that relief also includes the head of a boar beneath Hercules' proper right arm.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN


    Literature

    COMPARATIVE LITERATURE:
    M. I. Webb, Michael Rysbrack Sculptor, London, 1954.
    K. Eustace, 'Robert Adam, Charles-Louis Clérisseau, Michael Rysbrack and the Hopetoun chimneypiece', in The Burlington Magazine, Nov. 1997, pp. 743-752.