A & A art and architecture spacer courtauld institute of art spacer
quick search advanced search browse temp folder
Head of the Farnese Hercules (recto)
enlarge image zoom image

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;

Pen and brown ink, bottom centre & recto, AVDyck

Acquisition (source, method, date)
Seilern, Antoine (Count); bequest; 1978

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

spacer spacer spacer spacer