Guido Reni (Bologna 1574-1642)
Guido Reni (Bologna 1574-1642)

Hercules with his club

Guido Reni (Bologna 1574-1642)
Hercules with his club
oil on canvas, oval
28 x 23 in. (71 x 58.4 cm.)
Prince Mattia de' Medici (recorded in his inventory of 1659).
C.C. Malvasia, ed., G. Zanotti, Felsina pittrice: vite de' pittori bolognesi, Bologna, 1841, II, p. 47.
G. Gaye, Carteggio inedito, Florence, 1850, III, p. 546.
A.M. Crinò, 'A Letter Concerning Guido Reni', The Burlington Magazine, CV, no. 726, September 1963, p. 408.
D.S. Pepper, Guido Reni: a complete catalogue of his works with an introductory text, Oxford, 1984, p. 240, under nos. 68-71.
D.S. Pepper, Guido Reni: l'opera completa, Novara, 1988, p. 342, no. 52, pl. 42.
Washington, D.C., Osuna Gallery, Wealth of Cities: Italian Painting in the 17th and 18th Centuries, February-March 1987, no. 23 (entry by D.S. Pepper).

Brought to you by

Alan Wintermute
Alan Wintermute

Check the condition report or get in touch for additional information about this

If you wish to view the condition report of this lot, please sign in to your account.

Sign in
View condition report

Lot Essay

Recorded in the 1659 inventory of Prince Mattia de' Medici, the present painting was identified by Stephen Pepper as the Hercules mentioned by the Marchese Ferdinando Cospi, the Medici agent in Bologna, in a letter of 20 May 1642 (see Pepper, op. cit., 342), Cospi refers to it as 'la più bella testa che egli habbia mai fatto the most beautiful head that Reni ever painted'. Guido himself wrote to the Prince regarding this composition in a letter dated 30 June 1642 (see Crinò, op. cit.), and the great 17th century biographer, Count Carlo Cesare Malvasia, documents this it as one of the gifts bestowed to the Prince by Reni in his biography of the artist (op. cit.). Pepper dates the Hercules to circa 1640.

More from Old Master Paintings

View All
View All