Lot Content

Global notice COVID-19 Important notice
A RECTANGULAR CARVED MARBLE RELIEF DEPICTING AN OFFERING TO HERCULES
No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VA… Read more THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN 
A RECTANGULAR CARVED MARBLE RELIEF DEPICTING AN OFFERING TO HERCULES

ATTRIBUTED TO ALEXANDER VAN DER HAGEN, AFTER MICHAEL RYSBRACK, CIRCA 1760

Details
A RECTANGULAR CARVED MARBLE RELIEF DEPICTING AN OFFERING TO HERCULES
Attributed to Alexander van der Hagen, after Michael Rysbrack, circa 1760
With three cloaked men offering libations before a votive statue of Hercules which is being crowned by another man on the left.
Minor chips and surface dirt.
24 x 29 in. (61 x 73.7 cm.)
Literature
COMPARATIVE LITERATURE:
M. I. Webb, Michael Rysbrack - Sculptor, London, 1954.
G. Beard, Craftsmen and Interior Decoration in England 1660-1820, Edinburgh, 1981.
Special Notice

No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.

Lot Essay

Reliefs such as this one, which take as their subject a sacrifice to a god or goddess, are derived from antique sources. They were revived in the neo-classical period, and Michael Rysbrack, in particular, is known to have executed several such reliefs for his more important English patrons. Probably as early as the late 1720s, he carved a Sacrifice to Diana for the Stone Hall at Houghton (Webb, op. cit., p. 127), and in 1755, he carved marble reliefs of a Sacrifice to Apollo and a Sacrifice to Diana for the Duke of Bedford's country seat, Woburn Abbey.

The present relief shows numerous strong similarities to the examples mentioned above, both in stylistic and compositional terms. However, the more rigid handling of motifs such as the swags on the altar and the compressed composition led Kate Eustace (private correspondance 18 February 2002) to suggest that the present relief may be the work of Rysbrack's assistant, Alexander van der Hagen. She notes that in the Langford sale catalogue of 14 February 1767, lots 43 and 44 are given to van der Hagen and described as:

43 A Basso Relievo of Venus and Cupid, after Mr. Rysbrack
44 Ditto of a Sacrifice to Hercules, after ditto

;

More from IMPORTANT EUROPEAN FURNITURE,SCULPTURE & TAPESTRIES

View All
View All