The present bronze is a reduction of Giambologna's monumental figure of Neptune surmounting the fountain in Piazza Maggiore, Bologna, executed between 1563 and 1567. Reductions of this famous statue are not uncommon but are generally larger than the present cast. Giambologna's model for the fountain is in the Museo Civico, Bologna (78.6cm. high) and a larger composition, where the legs are arranged differently and the dolphin is substituted for a cherub's head, is in the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm (115cm.). Both these versions conform to a prototype with a long flowing beard, whereas the present bronze follows the completed fountain figure in having a trimmed beard. A cast of Neptune closer in scale at 13½in. is in the Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield, Massachusetts (inv. 68.S09).
Avery (1987), pp.206-09, pls.117, 231-32; p.261, nos.66-67; Avery & Radcliffe, pp.81-83, nos.31-32
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