As a guest at Ambras
The Youthful Herkules
The series »Zu Gast in Ambras« (As a guest at Ambras) brings a selected masterpiece from the collections of the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna to Ambras Castle every autumn. The guest 2017 is from the Kunstkammer Vienna and is a highlight from the original Ambras collection of Archduke Ferdinand II.: the Youthful Herkules. The jubilee year »Ferdinand II. – 450 years sovereign ruler of Tirol« offers the occasion to show the unique figurette allʼantica once again as a guest at its original place for a short time.
The »Youthful Hercules is one of the most beautiful bronze figures of the late renaissance. Originally the statuette was stored in the 13th case of the Kunst- und Wunderkammer (Chamber of Art and Curiosities) that contained statuettes of humans and animals, male and female nudes, protagonists of ancient mythology, gods and legendary creatures.
The muscular, heavy body ideal and the idea of composing of counter rotating movements show, that the unknown artist of a Florentine workshop was influenced by the most famous sculptor of the Renaissance: Michelangelo. The dynamic movements as an expression of strong feelings are overstretched what brings out the muscle tension. Thus the creator not only masters the artistic concerns of Michelangeloʼs large-scale works in a small execution, but developed it magnificently further in a manieristic style!
The special exhibition shows the Youthful Hercules in the Antiquarium of the Kunst- und Wunderkammer until October 31, 2017. A booklet in German describes the statuette in detail.
21 September 2017
to 31 October 2017