Hercules and a Dragon
Possibly Italian, possibly late 19th century
Wax and cartapesta (papier mâché)
28.4 cm high
This curious sculpture entered the collection, at great cost, as the work of the Florentine Renaissance sculptor Giovanni Francesco Rustici (1475-1554). Recent research has raised suspicions that it is neither by him nor even of his period, although the figure type has some similarities with certain bronzes by Antonio del Pollaiuolo (1429/33-1498). It may be a 19th-century pastiche, perhaps concocted for the growing art market for renaissance sculpture. Made of cartapesta (papier mâché) and wax, it has the appearance of a preparatory model.
Purchased 1950 (No. 50.8)