Monday, August 28, 2017

Hercules

Ercole e Caco (Hercules and Cacus) by Baccio Bandinelli, Piazza della Signoria, Florence
“Ercole e Caco” (Hercules and Cacus) by Baccio Bandinelli, 1534
Piazza della Signoria
Florence, May 2017

“Hercules and Cacus was commissioned by the Medici pope Clement VII, who had been shown a wax model. The supplied block of Carrara marble was not big enough to execute Bandinelli's wax model. He had to make new wax models, one of which was chosen by the pope as the final draft. Bandinelli had already carved the sculpture as far as the abdomen of Hercules, when during the 1527 Sack of Rome, the pope was taken prisoner. Meanwhile, in Florence, republican enemies of the Medici took advantage of the chaos to exile Ippolito de' Medici. Bandinelli, a supporter of the Medici, was also exiled. In 1530 Emperor Charles V retook Florence after a long siege. Pope Clement VII subsequently installed his illegitimate son Alessandro de' Medici as duke of Tuscany. Bandinelli then returned to Florence and continue work on the statue till completed in 1534, and transported from the Opera del Duomo to its present marble pedestal. But from the moment it was unveiled, it faced ridicule; Cellini compared the ponderous group to ‘a sack full of melons’. Afterwards, the Bandinelli tried to sabotage Cellini's career. The statue was restored between February and April 1994.” (Bartolommeo Bandinelli, Wikipedia)

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