Hercules and the Nemean Lion
Model: Rome, 1621; Variant: perhaps German, possibly 17th or 18th century
33.8 x 30.3 cm
Maderno was the leading sculptor in Rome before the emergence of Gianlorenzo Bernini (1598-1680). His fine terracotta original of this model is now in Venice. It was much copied in bronze and other media, reflecting its great popularity as an academic figure for students to study. This was perhaps the intended function of this comparatively unsophisticated wood version. The subject represents the 1st Labour of Hercules, in which the classical hero slays the Nemean lion and thereafter wears its golden pelt.
Purchased 1950 (No. 50.9 )