Hercules Carrying the Erymanthean Boar

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Antoine-Louis Barye
1796-1875
Bronze, with gilded figure.
height: 5 1/8 inches (130 mm; including base), width: 3 3/8 inches (86 mm), depth 2 3/16 inches (54 mm); base: 2 3/16 inches (54 mm) wide, 3 5/16 inches (83 mm) long
AZ043
Inscription: 
Inscription on base: "Barye".
Provenance: 
Purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan from Glaenzer, 1908.
Notes: 

This small bronze figure features the ancient hero Hercules as he carries the subdued Erymanthean Boar across his shoulder. The scene depicts the fourth of the Twelve Labors of Hercules, a series of tasks presumed impossible ordered by King Eurystheus. Antoine-Louis Barye (1796-1875) based this sculpture on a figure from a bronze set of statuettes created by Giambologna (1529-1608) for the Grand Duke Francesco I de'Medici of Tuscany (1541-1587). Barye preserves the animated, dynamic pose characteristic of Giambologna's figure, while adding a brilliant visual and tactile contrast by gilding the muscular body of Hercules, which appears smooth against the coarsely-treated bronze of the beast.
Hercules is gilded. This was the fourth of the Twelve Labors of Hercules.
After Giambologna (Douai 1529-1608 Florence).

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