Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Bildführer 1: Bronzeplastik Erwerbungen von 1956-1973, Hans R. Weihrauch zum 65. Geburtstag, Munich, 1974, no. 32.
D. Diemer, Hubert Gerhard und Carlo di Cesare del Palagio - Bronzeplastiker der Spätrenaissance, Berlin, 2004.
On the basis of style and composition the bronze figure of Hercules offered here can be convincingly connected to the workshop of the Dutch mannerist sculptor Hubert Gerhard. Although he was principally known for working on large-scale monuments for the foremost patrons of the time such as Hans Fugger and the Dukes of Bavaria, Gerhard was also known to have worked on a number of small scale bronzes such as his Neptune, Nymph and Hercules, Nessus and Deianira in the late 16th century (private collection, Detroit Institute of Art and Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, respectively, see Diemer, op. cit., II, pls. 36, 37, 211). In each of these examples Gerhard demonstrates a consistent interest in exaggerated - almost balletic - poses, dynamically extended arms and vigorously modelled details which can all be seen on the Hall Hercules.
The Neptune, in particular, represents an extremely fine compositional comparison in that it is a near-perfect mirror image of the Hercules. Here the artist has replicated in reverse the positioning of the arms, the twist in the torso and the placement of the legs as well as the modelling of some of the details; for example, the small, square, pectoral muscles and the definition of the rib-cage and abdominal muscles. Comparable attention is also paid to the vigorous modelling of the hair and beard in the wax model - with no subsequent cold working - and in the almond shaped eyes. Indeed, this fact seems to suggest that Gerhard was particularly interested in textures achievable in the metal: highly filed and polished muscle tones, combined with softly modelled hair, and occasionally fastidiously chased drapery or animal skins. All of these textures are visible on the Detroit Nymph and also - although on a larger scale - on the bronze personification of the River Lech from the Augustus Fountain, Augsburg (ibid., pls. 142-145).