Giovanni Bologna (Giambologna) (1529 – 1608)

Hercules Wielding his Club

Model: Florence, Italy, early 1580s; Cast: probably France or Italy, mid-17th century (unknown foundry)

Bronze

41.3 cm

Giambologna trained in the Southern Netherlands before moving to Florence to work for the Medici, where he became the leading sculptor in Italy. He made many models for small bronze sculptures, including a series of the Twelve Labours of Hercules, which were much copied. The prime version of this bronze was made for the Medici in about 1584 apparently as a single figure; but the model was often paired with the dragon Ladon (relating to the 11th Labour).

Purchased 1945 (No. 45.4)

SEE THIS SCULPTURE IN THE CASE BETWEEN THE RED AND BEIGE GALLERIES