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166

Italo-Flemish, second half 17th century, Hercules or Allegory of Winter

Italo-Flemish, second half 17th century, Hercules or Allegory of Winter

Italo-Flemish, second half 17th century, Hercules or Allegory of Winter

Italo-Flemish, second half 17th century

Hercules or Allegory of Winter


marble figure

H. 75 cm; 29½ in.

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Italo-Flamand, seconde moitié du XVIIe siècle

Hercule ou l'Allégorie de l'Hiver


figure en marbre

H. 75 cm; 29½ in.

Good condition overall , with some minor surface dirt in the crevices. Some natural inclusions to the marble at several places. Minor losses to the lower edges of the base.


"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

A. Bacchi, La Scultura a Venezia da Sansovino a Canova, Mailand, 2000, no 483 and nos 628-629.

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A. Bacchi, La Scultura a Venezia da Sansovino a Canova, Milan, 2000, no 483 et nos 628-629.

Following conventional iconography, this allegorical figure is a personification of Winter, portrayed as a bearded man in his twilight years. He is also personifies Hercules, wrapped in a lion skin, standing in a contrapposto position, his arms crossed in an attempt to keep warm. The sculpture was executed in the second half of the seventeenth century and reveals a variety of influences: his stocky proportions and the thickly carved drapery suggest Flemish artist, while the old man's expressive facial features and the variety of textures carved into the marble recall the art of Baroque Italian sculptors. The remarkable use of the drill to carve the marble can be seen particularly clearly in Hercules' beard and hair, as well as in the lion's fur that wraps around his body.

This figure of Hercules is reminiscent of the artists working in Venice in the late seventeenth century in the circle of the Flemish sculptor Giusto Le Court (1627-1679), such as Michele Fabris, known as l'Ongaro (1644-1684), Giuseppe Torretti (1664-1743), and especially Tommaso Rues (1636-1703). Originally from Bruneck in Austria, Tommaso worked in Venice from an early age with Melchior Barthel under the direction of Le Court. Among his works, the figure of the prophet Elijah for the façade of Santa Maria dei Carmini and a marble of Hercules and Antaeus (Baccarelli & Botticelli ,Tefaf 2016) are particularly evocative of the present sculpture in terms of the treatment of the body.

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Selon une iconographie traditionnelle, cette figure allégorique en marbre personnifie l’Hiver sous les traits d'Hércule, un homme barbu au crépuscule de sa vie. Tenant debout en contraposto, son corps enveloppé d'une peau de lion, couvrant sa tête, et nouée autour des hanches, il croise ses bras devant la poitrine afin de se réchauffer.

L’œuvre exécutée dans la seconde moitié du XVIIe siècle conjugue diverses influences : Dans ses proportions ramassées et le traitement épais des drapés, notre figure évoque les artistes flamandes. L'expressivité et la physionomie du vieillard, ainsi que les variations de texture dans la taille du marbre rappellent l'art des sculpteurs baroques italiens.

Ce remarquable travail au trépan de la matière est particulièrement visible dans la barbe et des cheveux d'Hercule, ainsi que dans le traitement de la fourrure de lion enveloppant son corps.

Notre marbre évoque l'art de différents sculpteurs ayant exercé à Venise à la fin du XVIIe siècle dans l'entourage du flamand Giusto Le Court (1627-1679), tels que Michele Fabris dit l’Ongaro (1644-1684), Giuseppe Torretti (1664-1743), ou plus particulièrement Tommaso Rues (1636-1703). Originaire de Bruneck en Autriche, Rues travailla dès son plus jeune âge avec Melchior Barthel sous la direction de Le Court à Venise. Parmi ses œuvres, ce sont notamment la figure d'Elie réalisée pour la façade de Santa Maria dei Carmini, ainsi que son marbre d’Hercule et Antée (présenté par Baccarelli & Botticelli, Tefaf 2016), dont le travail des corps résonne tout particulièrement avec notre sculpture.