Boxwood sculpture of the Farnese Hercules by Michel Péru, dated 1635

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Michel Péru
Signed and dated 1635
26 cm

Sale Bruun Rasmussen, 13 May 1993, lot 580
Danny Katz Gallery ltd. London
Private collection (?)
Herwig Simons Fine Arts Antwerpen 2013
Kunstzalen A. Vecht Amsterdam 2015
Private collection Goudsmit Amsterdam

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This boxwood model of Hercules closely follows its Roman example, in stance and rendering. It shows that the interest in the antiquities persisted over the centuries.Hercules is modelled after the well-known Farnese Hercules, an ancient statue of Hercules, a Roman sculpture that is a copy or version of a much older Greek original that was well known, in this case a bronze by Lysippos (or one of his circle) that would have been made in the fourth century BC. The enlarged copy was made for the Baths of Caracala in Rome, where the statue was recovered in 1546, and is now in the Archeological Museum in Napels. The heroically-scaled Hercules is one of the most famous sculptures of antiquity and has fixed the image of the mythic hero in the European imagination. Hercules was the son of Zeus and the mortal Alcemene. As the greatest of heroes, he was well-known for his strength and a model of masculinity.


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