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Plaquette - Hercules and the dead Antaeus

Hercules and the dead Antaeus

  • Object:

    Plaquette

  • Place of origin:

    Italy (North, made)

  • Date:

    late 15th century to early 16th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Moderno (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Bronze

  • Museum number:

    A.442-1910

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This plaquette depicts Hercules and Antaeus and is made by Moderno.
Hercules (Greek name is Heracles) is one of the most important heroes in Greek mythology and represents the characteristics of masculinity, strength, courage and sexual prowess. Antaneus was a Greek giant, the son of Poseidon and Gaia, and was extremely strong and invulnerable, as long as he kept contact with the ground. Hercules discovered the secret, lifted him from the earth and then strangled him.
Moderno (Galeazzo Mondella) (1467-1528) is the pseudonym of this goldsmith and medallist active in North Italy and later in Rome. He signed certain pieces of his work with OPUS MODERNI (opus is the Latin term for 'work' - which then means 'work of the modern'). The modern here is referring to the Ancient World, in contrary to the Naturalism of the Gothic. His earliest works may date around 1485-1490, and his earliest dated work is 1490.
Moderno specialised in small bronze plaquettes exploring religious or antique themes, and catered for a clientele of learned humanists.

Physical description

Hercules standing, naked except for the lion's skin over his shoulders. leaning on his club and looking down at the dead body of Antaeus.

Place of Origin

Italy (North, made)

Date

late 15th century to early 16th century (made)

Artist/maker

Moderno (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Bronze

Dimensions

Height: 6.8 cm, Width: 5.3 cm

Object history note

From the Salting bequest.

Descriptive line

Plaquette, bronze, Hercules and Antaeus, by Moderno, North Italy, late 15th to early 16th century

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

'Salting Bequest (A. 70 to A. 1029-1910) / Murray Bequest (A. 1030 to A. 1096-1910)'. In: List of Works of Art Acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum (Department of Architecture and Sculpture). London: Printed under the Authority of his Majesty's Stationery Office, by Eyre and Spottiswoode, Limited, East Harding Street, EC, p. 70
Maclagan, Eric. Catalogue of Italian Plaquettes . London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1924, p. 36
Pope-Hennessy, John. Renaissance Bronzes from the Samuel H. Kress Collection. Reliefs - Plaquettes - Statuettes - Utensils and Mortars . London: 1965, p. 44, no 138

Materials

Bronze

Categories

Plaques & Plaquettes; Sculpture; Myths & Legends; Death

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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