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Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014

Hercules and Antaeus

Overview

Creator: German (nationality)
Creation Date: 
seventeenth century
Materials: 
Bronze
Dimensions: 
64.8 x 30.0 x 32.5 cm
RCIN 
21929
Reference(s): 
XQG 1988 110
Acquirer: George IV, King of the United Kingdom (1762-1830), when King of the United Kingdom (1820-30)
Provenance: 
Purchased by George IV from Rundell, Bridge & Rundell for £63 (bill dated 16th August 1824)
Description:

Bronze group of two nude males wrestling, one lifting the other off the ground and crushing him; an elderly woman at their feet. All on a flat naturalistic rocky base with animal heads and serpents.

This dramatic sculpture shows the moment that Hercules lifts the giant Antaeus from the ground and crushes him in the air. Antaeus was invincible only if he remained in contact with the earth. The distraught figure emerging from the ground is Antaeus’s mother, Gaea, the goddess who personified the earth.

Further details

Category: 
Sculpture