This is one of only a few complete versions of Severo da Ravenna's Atlas supporting the globe of Heaven.
What is considered to be the prime example is a larger version in the Frick Collection (inv. no. 15.2.24), while another of the same size as the present cast was sold in these rooms on 5 December 2012 (lot 39).
Though not equal in detail and finesse, the present cast is close in quality to the Frick example, as is seen particularly in the modelling of the face, hair and beard. The putto surmounting the oil lamp - according to Krahn (op. cit.
), to be interpreted as Christ - is also similar to the Frick example, though not identical. Numerous incomplete and less fine survivals of the model exist in public and private collections, among which the Atlas
in the Bode Museum (inv. no. M 39/100) is one of few that approach the quality of the present example.
J. Pope-Hennessy and A. Radcliffe, Sculpture in the Frick collection, cat. Frick Collection, New York, 1970, pp. 106-111; V. Krahn, Bronzetti veneziani. Die venezianischen Kleinbronzen der Renaissance aus dem Bode-Museum Berlin, Berlin, 2003, pp. 72-75 and 72-75, no. 15