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Fall

  • 1994/2.17 - The Farnese Hercules, Jacob Bos, 1562; 18 1/8 in. x 12 5/8 in.

  • 1970/1.179Lamentation, Bartolommeo da Brescia, 1565; 10 5/8 in. x 7 11/16 in. 
  • 1985/1.86 - Mars and Venus Surrounded by Nymphs and Putti, Giovanni Jacopo Caraglio, circa 1530-1540; 16 1/2 in. x 13 3/16 in.
  • 1979/1.153 - The Dead Christ Supported by an AngelGiuseppe Scolaricirca 158218 1/8 in. x 12 3/16 in. 

Winter

  • 1954/2.54 - Study of a Male Nude with Floating Drapery, Isaac Claesz van Swanenburg, 1562-1638; 12 7/16 in. x 7 15/16 in.
  • 1983/2.249 - The Resurrection, Marten van Heemskerck, 1548-1574; 8 3/8 in. x 5 9/16 in.
  • 1957/1.33 - The Martyrdom of St. Bartholomew, Jusepe de Ribera, 1624; 13 1/2 in. x 10 3/8 in. 
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7 Items in this Learning Collection
Collection Object
Collection Object

Copyright
All Rights Reserved ()

The Farnese Hercules

Accession Number
1994/2.17

Title
The Farnese Hercules

Artist(s)
Jacob Bos

Object Creation Date
1562

Medium & Support
engraving on laid paper

Dimensions
18 ⅛ in x 12 ⅝ in (46.04 cm x 32.07 cm);18 ⅛ in x 12 ⅝ in (46.04 cm x 32.07 cm);17 11/16 in x 11 15/16 in (44.93 cm x 30.32 cm);17 11/16 in x 11 15/16 in (44.93 cm x 30.32 cm);28 1/16 in x 22 1/16 in (71.28 cm x 56.04 cm)

Credit Line
Given in memory of Dr. & Mrs. Milton J. Goodfriend

Label copy
March 28, 2009
Jacob Bos, a Flemish printmaker active in Rome during the mid-1500s, created this engraving of the famous Farnese Hercules for Antoine Lafréry, an enterprising publisher who commissioned a number of accomplished engravers in Italy to reproduce works of antique sculpture and architecture. Lafréry capitalized upon the avid demand for such reproductive prints among artists and collectors by selling the prints either individually or a selection of them together in a portfolio known as the Mirror of the Magnificence of Rome.
Bos elected to depict the front of the Farnese Hercules, unlike Goltzius, who engraved the same statue 30 years later from the back. Bos’s version is more mechanically descriptive and less skillfully modeled than the later master’s, conveying comparatively little of the sculpture’s monumentality or three-dimensional form. The print succeeds, nevertheless, in capturing the essential appearance of a masterpiece that might be seen only once in a lifetime.

Subject matter
The engraving reproduces a statue that is itself a copy from the 3rd century CE of an original from the 4th century BCE. The monumental sculpture was unearthed in Rome in the 1540s, and quickly became one of the most famous and influential of all ancient sculptures. The statue was purchased soon after its discovery by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese and displayed in the family's residence in Rome, the Farnese Palace, until the late eighteenth century.

Physical Description
This engraving reproduces a colossal marble sculpture of Hercules leaning upon his club, which is draped with a lion skin. Bos carefully records the powerful musculature of the figure and sets the statue within a niche.

Primary Object Classification
Print

Primary Object Type
study

Collection Area
Western

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
clubs (weapons)
engravings (prints)
niches
nudes (representations)
statues

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& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved

On display