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Nessus and Deianeira Gianfrancesco Susini Giovanni da Bologna (after) Antonio Susini (previous attribution)

Artist

Gianfrancesco Susini Florence 1585 – 1653 Florence

Giovanni da Bologna (after) Douai 1529 – 1608 Florence

Antonio Susini (previous attribution) Florence 1580 – 1624 Florence

Date first half of the 17th century
Object type sculpture
Medium, technique bronze with green patina
Dimensions

42 × 31 × 19 cm
with base: 57 × 32 × 19 cm

Inventory number 5357
Collection Sculpture
On view This artwork can be displayed at the permanent exhibition

The Flemish sculptor, Giambologna achieved a reputation at the Medici court in Florence. His refined mannerist style was popularised throughout Europe by his many pupils and by means of his bronze sculptures that were given by the Medicis as diplomatic gifts. The Nessus and Deianira bronze group created around 1575 is one of his best-known compositions with many casts and variants of it having survived. The type of the Budapest small bronze follows Giambologna’s model and can be associated with the excellent bronz-caster Gianfrancesco Susini. The sculpture captures the dramatic moment of a mythological story related by Ovid: Deianeira, the wife of Heracles is being abducted by the centaur Nessus who as a ferryman offered to help the woman when they intended to cross the river Euenos. Hearing Deianeira’s desperate cries Heracles shot with an arrow the centaur.

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