Since 1993 the Kunsthandlung Julius Böhler has been showing sculptural masterpieces and works of art from the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the Early Baroque period in Maastricht. This year too, art collectors can once again look forward to the gallery’s quality works on offer. Florian Eitle-Böhler will be presenting a sensational new discovery: an 82cm-tall alabaster sculpture ‘Hercules Struggling with the Amazonian Queen Hippolyta’ by the German sculptor Leonhard Kern (1588 Forchtenberg am Kocher–1662 Schwäbisch-Hall). In this work Kern depicts one of the scenes from the myth surrounding Hercules – the theft of the belt of the Amazonian queen Hippolyta – whom the hero defeats after a struggle.
The sculptor cites the prototypical ‘Rape of the Sabines’ that Giambologna made as a figura serpentinata in 1581/82, in a masterly way. It is possible that Kern created ‘Hercules Struggling with the Amazonian Queen Hippolyta’ in the royal city of Heidelberg where he spent some time between 1617 and 1619, after returning from his stay in Italy between 1609 and 1614, possibly even as a commission for the Elector Palatine Frederick V. , married to Elisabeth Stuart, princess of England and Scotland. Hercules, a godlike figure famous for his strength, was a popular allegorical figure for a ruler. The Hercules myth is also quoted in the famous palace garden, the Hortus Palatinus, at Heidelberg Castle, in a frieze by Salomon de Caus.
TEFAF Maastricht, MECC Maastricht
Friday 10–Sunday 19 March 2017
Opening times: 11am–7pm
Sunday 19 March 11 am – 6 pm