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Statuette - Hercules and Antaeus

Hercules and Antaeus

  • Object:

    Statuette

  • Place of origin:

    Netherlands (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1550-1600 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Master H.I.S. (sculptor)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Boxwood

  • Museum number:

    A.1-1951

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This small, finely-carved group, representing Hercules and Antaeus, would have been displayed in a cabinet of curiosities. In the combat, Hercules holds the giant Antaeus in the air in a vice-like grip, because Antaeus drew his strength from touching the earth.
Hercules (Greek name is Heracles) is one of the most important heroes in Greek mythology. He was the son of Jupiter and Alcmena, a Theban princess. He is regarded as the embodiment of physical strength and courage.
His two main attributes are the club and the lion’s skin, which he won at his first labour. He had to undertake 12 labours as a penance for slaying his own children in an act of madness.

Physical description

Hercules with his right leg forward, holds Antaeus over his rioght hip. Antaeus' left arm is upraised, and his right hand is on Hercules' left shoulder. The lion's skin is between Hercules' legs on the base. The fingers of Hercules' right hand, and fingers and thumb of Antaeus' left hand are missing.

Place of Origin

Netherlands (made)

Date

ca. 1550-1600 (made)

Artist/maker

Master H.I.S. (sculptor)

Materials and Techniques

Boxwood

Dimensions

Height: 32.5 cm

Object history note

Given by Dr. W.L. Hildburgh FSA.

Historical context note

This small, finely-carved group would have been displayed in a cabinet of curiosities. In the combat, Hercules holds the giant Antaeus in the air in a vice-like grip, because Antaeus drew his strength from touching the earth.

Descriptive line

Statuette, wood, Hercules and Antaeus, by the Master H.I.S., Netherlandish, ca. 1550-1600

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

Lock, L. E., "Art and Manufacture of Netherlandish Wood Sculpture, c. 1600-1750", in: Sculpture Journal, XII, 2004, fig. on p. 29

Materials

Boxwood

Subjects depicted

Homoerotic; Lion's skin

Categories

Myths & Legends; Sculpture

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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