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Hercules and Iolaus with the Hydra Alessandro Algardi (after)


Alessandro Algardi (after) Bologna 1598 – 1654 Rome

Culture Italian
Date mid-17th century
Object type sculpture
Medium, technique bronze with dark patina

32 × 25 × 24 cm
base: 10 × 16 × 20 cm

Inventory number 5358
Collection Sculpture
On view Museum of Fine Arts, First Floor, European Art 1600–1700 and British Painting 1600–1800, Gallery V

This dynamic Baroque bronze statuette depicts the battle of Hercules and his helper, Iolaos, with the Hydra of Lerna. Algardi, the most sought-after sculptor of the first half of the 17th century next to Bernini, first came across the subject when he restored the Hercules statue of the Roman Verospi collection. Inspired by this antique marble, he created two variations on this theme: one, which follows the original more closely, repeating the position of the heads (The Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford/USA); the other being a freer, more harmonic composition, which fits into the artist’s oeuvre better, represented by this statue from the Ferenczy-collection.

This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.

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