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Head of the Farnese Hercules (recto)
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Head of the Farnese Hercules (recto)

Circa 1608-10

Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640)

Chalk (black and white) on paper (grey)

Height: 36.3 cm; Width: 24.5 cm;

Inscription
Pen and brown ink, bottom centre & recto, AVDyck

Acquisition (source, method, date)
Seilern, Antoine (Count); bequest; 1978
D.1978.PG.53

About this work
In the 1540s the classical fragments of a statue of Hercules were excavated in Rome. Restored and reassembled in the Palazzo Farnese, the monumental sculpture soon attracted artists and came to represent an ideal of physical strength and power. Rubens studied the work in detail during his stay in Italy between 1601 and 1608. The position from which the mighty head is observed suggests that this drawing may have been made from one of the many plaster casts or marble copies which soon came to exist. (Permanent collection label)



Copyright: © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London

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