Show me:
and
Clear all filters

  • 35 items
  • 25 items Explore
  • 89 items
  • 1 items
  • 3,443 items Explore
  • 97 items Explore
  • 871 items
  • 4 items
  • 220 items
  • 12,278 items Explore
  • 209 items Explore
  • 1,232 items Explore
  • 8,487 items Explore
  • 5,045 items Explore
  • 167 items Explore
  • 12,992 items Explore
  • 13,621 items Explore
  • 4,806 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 5 items
  • 153 items Explore
  • 2,082 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 4,748 items Explore
  • 13 items Explore
  • 437 items Explore
  • 267 items
  • 19,827 items Explore
  • 34 items Explore
  • 1,911 items Explore
  • 1,083 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 2,048 items Explore
  • 449 items Explore
  • 920 items Explore
  • 1 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 7 items
  • 20,119 items
  • 800 items Explore
  • 19 items
  • 73 items Explore
  • 33 items
  • 797 items
  • 20 items
  • 4 items
  • 26 items
  • 61 items
  • 28 items
  • 319 items Explore
  • 6 items
  • 44 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 2 items
  • 2 items
  • 7 items
  • 121 items Explore
  • 119 items
  • 1 items
  • 1,020 items Explore
  • 803 items
  • 95 items
  • 27 items
  • 108 items
  • 36,606 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 3,863 items Explore
  • 1,534 items Explore
  • 403 items
  • 158 items Explore
  • 11,001 items Explore
  • 9,686 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 1 items
  • 38 items
  • 3 items
  • 4 items
  • 7,090 items Explore
  • 7,459 items Explore
  • 4,511 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 1,857 items Explore
  • 1,191 items Explore
  • 22,342 items Explore
  • 3,603 items Explore
  • 17 items
  • 5 items
  • 334 items
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 3,373 items Explore
  • 23 items Explore
  • 352 items Explore
  • 796 items Explore
  • 1,090 items Explore
  • 510 items Explore
  • 1,143 items Explore
  • 89 items
  • 125 items Explore
  • 6,950 items Explore
  • 170 items
  • 4 items
  • 310 items
  • 4 items
  • 2 items
  • 63 items
  • 2 items
  • 2,935 items Explore
  • 1,580 items Explore
  • 203 items
  • 91 items
  • 20,245 items Explore
  • 1,166 items Explore
  • 138 items
  • 847 items Explore
  • 32 items
  • 132 items Explore
  • 40 items
  • 20 items
  • 281 items
  • 313 items
  • 682 items Explore
  • 347 items Explore
  • 2,427 items
  • 2,525 items
  • 3 items
  • 1 items
  • 4,391 items Explore
  • 41,270 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 3,287 items Explore
  • 275 items Explore
  • 8,559 items Explore
  • 31 items
  • 25 items
  • 304 items Explore
  • 776 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 65 items
  • 161 items
  • 58 items
  • 52 items
  • 22,441 items Explore
  • 917 items
  • 18 items
  • 22,557 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 2,337 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 1,028 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 759 items
  • 499 items
  • 3,304 items Explore
  • 175 items
  • 59 items
  • 455 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 21 items
  • 90 items Explore
  • 76 items
  • 281 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 6 items
  • 128 items
  • 295 items
  • 447 items
  • 286 items
  • 1 items
  • 790 items Explore
  • 271 items Explore
  • 11,293 items Explore
  • 760 items Explore
  • 6,046 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 8,000 items Explore
  • 27 items
  • 1 items
  • 5,870 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 3,722 items Explore
  • 9,190 items Explore
  • 7,751 items Explore
  • 185 items
  • 19 items
  • 142 items
  • 7 items
  • 853 items Explore
  • 19 items
  • 2,329 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 1,095 items Explore
  • 269 items
  • 1 items
  • 3,540 items Explore
  • 695 items Explore
  • 18 items
  • 134 items
  • 6,716 items Explore
  • 93 items
  • 18,701 items Explore
  • 3,140 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 7 items
  • 10,981 items Explore
  • 37 items
  • 4 items
  • 2 items
  • 21,526 items Explore
  • 38 items
  • 13,200 items Explore
  • 3,457 items Explore
  • 5,623 items Explore
  • 33 items
  • 46,023 items Explore
  • 641 items Explore
  • 415 items
  • 25,994 items Explore
  • 217 items
  • 3 items
  • 1 items
  • 35 items
  • 27 items
  • 356 items Explore
  • 636 items
  • 217 items Explore
  • 13 items
  • 12,754 items Explore
  • 1,350 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 10,260 items
  • 9 items
  • 10 items
  • 14 items
  • 25 items
  • 1 items
  • 4,533 items Explore
  • 913 items Explore
  • 44 items
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 319 items
  • 703 items Explore
  • 42 items
  • 2,285 items Explore
  • 1,662 items Explore
  • 15 items
  • 1,873 items Explore
  • 150 items
  • 81 items
  • 680 items Explore
  • 3,062 items Explore
  • 43 items
  • 17 items
  • 12 items
  • 10,675 items Explore
  • 23,138 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 3 items
  • 1 items
  • 41 items
  • 1,372 items
  • 180 items Explore
  • 8 items
  • 92 items
  • 13,437 items Explore
  • 3,571 items Explore
  • 2,896 items Explore
  • 4,782 items Explore
  • 22 items
  • 42 items
  • 6,898 items Explore
  • 4,782 items Explore
  • 256 items Explore
  • 2,300 items Explore
  • 2,976 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 1,902 items Explore
  • 193 items
  • 223 items Explore
  • 466 items Explore
  • 6,116 items Explore
  • 8,738 items Explore
  • 1,861 items Explore
  • 7 items
  • 5,800 items Explore
  • 3,339 items Explore
  • 11,064 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 86 items
  • 11 items
  • 1,793 items Explore
  • 7 items
  • 24 items
  • 51 items
  • 6 items
  • 1 items
  • 4,156 items Explore
  • 611 items Explore
  • 72 items
  • 17 items
  • 153 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 87 items Explore
  • 460 items
  • 7 items
  • 996 items Explore
  • 3,610 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 5 items
  • 9,478 items Explore
  • 48 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 7 items
  • 42 items
  • 3 items
  • 13,745 items Explore
  • 1,164 items Explore
  • 92 items
  • 10,562 items Explore
  • 1,920 items
  • 24 items
  • 7,831 items Explore
  • 21 items
  • 12,938 items Explore
  • 1,417 items Explore
  • 8 items
  • 9,675 items Explore
  • 15,111 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 1,667 items Explore
  • 181 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 5,684 items Explore
  • 12,134 items Explore
  • 48 items
  • 25 items
  • 2 items
  • 3 items
  • 7,246 items Explore
  • 369 items Explore
  • 13 items
  • 4 items
  • 6 items
  • 103 items Explore
  • 7 items
  • 5 items
  • 491 items
  • 664 items Explore
  • 8,374 items Explore
  • 55 items
  • 7,344 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 26 items
  • 4,479 items Explore
  • 420 items
  • 6 items
  • 205 items Explore
  • 12,702 items Explore
  • 55 items
  • 20 items
  • 7 items
  • 4 items
  • 325 items Explore
  • 434 items
  • 535 items
  • 3,703 items Explore
  • 27 items
  • 1,232 items Explore
  • 2,502 items Explore
  • 734 items Explore
  • 36 items
  • 1,139 items Explore
  • 97 items Explore
  • 24 items
  • 226 items Explore
  • 78,653 items Explore
  • 3,065 items Explore
  • 2,843 items Explore
  • 63 items
  • 5,239 items Explore
  • 1,831 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 17,442 items Explore
  • 4,996 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 7 items
  • 632 items Explore
  • 85 items
  • 1 items
  • 31 items
  • 1 items
  • 76 items
  • 29 items
  • 86 items
  • 3 items
  • 1,177 items Explore
  • 109 items
  • 805 items
  • 12,214 items Explore
  • 27 items
  • 13 items
  • 1,560 items Explore
  • 214 items
  • 17,028 items Explore
  • 85 items
  • 17 items
  • 1 items
  • 8 items
  • 324 items
  • 2 items
  • 627 items Explore
  • 1,584 items Explore
  • 8 items
  • 1,041 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 261 items

Select a time period

Or choose a specific year

Clear all filters

Hercules

John Michael Rysbrack (Antwerp 1684 – London 1770)

Category

Art / Sculpture

Date

1756 (signed and dated)

Materials

Marble

Measurements

1855 mm

Place of origin

London

Order this image

Collection

Stourhead, Wiltshire

NT 562911.1

Summary

Marble, Hercules, John Michael Rysbrack (1694-1770), 1756, signed and dated ‘Mich. Rysbrack 1756’. A colossal marble statue of Hercules, nude with the exception of a fig leaf, standing in contrapposto looking out to proper left. The figure is shown leaning against a boulder, holding his club in the proper right hand and resting it on the pelt of the Nemean lion which is draped over the boulder. The top of his proper left hand rests on the left hip; Mounted on a marble base and grey marble pedestal supplied by Rysbrack (NT 562911.2).

Full description

Described by Horace Walpole as Rysbrack’s ‘chef d’oeuvre’, this colossal statue of Hercules was commissioned by Henry Hoare II (1705-85) in 1747 and later mounted as ‘the principal ornament’ in the Pantheon at Stourhead (Walpole quoted in Webb 1950, p.311). The statue originates from a terracotta model of 1744 (NT 732894) which was bequeathed to Hoare in the sculptor’s will and which is featured in the famous portrait of Rysbrack by Andrea Soldi, painted in 1753 (Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection, B1976.7.75). A paper agreement of July 1747 records the details of the commission: Rysbrack and Hoare, a life-long patron of the sculptor, settled on ‘the sum of three hundred pounds’ for a ‘Hercules in statuary marble six feet three inches high’, with plinth, ‘finish’d according to the model [i.e. the terracotta] agreed on’. A deposit of ‘one Hundred and fifty pounds’ was paid at the start, with ‘seventy five pounds’ promised half-way through, and the ‘remaining seventy five pounds’ payable upon completion. A note inscribed on the same piece of paper, but dated July 1752, shows that work had only then just begun, five years after the agreement was drawn up. Despite waiting nine years for his Hercules, Hoare was delighted with the final result, paying the sculptor a further £50 ‘beyond ye Contract’ in July 1757. In 1760 Rysbrack completed a companion statue of the Farnese Flora at the cost of £200 (NT 562912.1, the terracotta model is in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, inv.no. A.9-1961). The sculpture is an intriguing composite, incorporating the head of the prototype Farnese Hercules (Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples), and, according to Horace Walpole, various bodily 'parts and limbs of seven or eight of the strongest and best made men in London’, chiefly ‘bruisers and boxers’ (Walpole quoted in Webb 1950, p.311). ‘The arms were Broughton’s [i.e. Jack Broughton (1703/4-89), an English bare-knuckle boxer], the breast a celebrated coachman’s, a bruiser, and the legs were those of Ellis the painter’, a ‘great frequenter’ of a London ‘gymnasium’ (ibid). The figure's overall stance originated from an engraving after Pietro da Cortona (1596-1669) published as the frontispiece to Ferrari’s Hesperides (1646), a folio Rysbrack himself owned (Kenworthy-Brown 1983, pp.216-9; for an impression see British Museum, London, 1872,0511.1154). See also the associated terracotta bust of Hercules by Rysbrack in the collection of the Yale Center for British Art (B1977.14.28). Alice Rylance-Watson 2019

Provenance

Acquired 1756 by Henry Hoare II (1705-85) for £300 (see agreement dated 1 July 1747, Wiltshire Record Office, and four payments made by Henry Hoare between July 1747 and February 1758, Hoare's Bank ledgers).

Credit line

Stourhead, The Hoare Collection (National Trust)

Marks and inscriptions

Mich. Rysbrack 1756

Makers and roles

John Michael Rysbrack (Antwerp 1684 – London 1770), sculptor

References

Haskell and Penny 1981: Francis Haskell and Nicholas Penny, Taste and the Antique, The Lure of Classical Sculpture 1500 - 1900, New Haven and London, 1981, pp.229-32 Kenworthy-Browne 1983: John Kenworthy-Browne, 'Rysbrack, "Hercules", and Pietro da Cortona', The Burlington Magazine, vol.125, no.961 (April 1983), pp.216-19 Webb 1950: Marjorie Isabel Webb, 'Sculpture by Rysbrack at Stourhead', Burlington Magazine, 92, November 1950, pp.307-15

View more details