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After Stefano Maderno, 'Hercules and Antaeus', possibly 19th century

Key facts
Full title Hercules and Antaeus
Artist After Stefano Maderno
Artist dates 1576 - 1636
Date made possibly 19th century
Medium and support Hollow-cast bronze on other
Dimensions 58.4 × 29.5 × 22 cm
Acquisition credit Presented anonymously, 1957
Inventory number NG6271
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Hercules and Antaeus
After Stefano Maderno

This bronze statue shows the Roman god and hero Hercules fighting the giant Antaeus in one of his ‘Twelve Labours'. Antaeus could not be killed while he remained in contact with his mother, the Earth. Hercules, who was famous for his strength, was able to lift the giant and crush him to death.

The statue may have been produced in Venice, most likely in the nineteenth century. It is based upon a terracotta model of approximately the same size, now in the Ca d’Oro, Venice. This model is signed S.M. and is the work of Stefano Maderno (about 1576–1636).

Maderno was a sculptor from Lombardy in northern Italy, whose work reflects the transition from Mannerism to the Baroque. He achieved considerable fame in Rome in the early seventeenth century and produced a number of small terracotta models, bronzes and marbles based on antique models.

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