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Flemish, late 17th Century
A Bronze Standing Bull

Bronze, 11-1/4 x 17-1/2 in. (28.5 x 44.5 cm), mounted on a green veined marble plinth,
height 4-3/4 in. (12 cm).

This model of a bull standing with head raised and bellowing, his tail curling around his rear hocks, the eyes, mouth and hair between the horns well defined, is known in several versions. The example in the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Munich (inv. R3232), cast with integral footplates and touched with remnants of gilding, is probably the primary version. Another almost equally fine example deaccessioned by the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum in 1923, also with footplates and traces of gilding, passed through Amsterdam collections into the Rijksmuseum in 1952 (inv. BK.16944). Frits Scholten, Senior Curator of European Sculpture at the Rijksmuseum, agrees with Weihrauch (1967) in placing the model in the circle of Peter Paul Rubens and, building on a supposition of Theuerkauff (cat. Berlin 1995, no. 197), ventures further to attribute it to the Antwerp sculptor Artus Quellinus (1609 - 1668), circa 1640. See, e.g., La Sculpture au siècle de Rubens, Musée d'art ancien, Brussels, 1977, no. 116, p. 154, Hercule domptant le tourreau de Crète, terracotta ("… traditionnellement attributé à Artus I Quellin, en raison des ressemblances avec les reliefs en terre cuite que ce sculpteur exécuta pour l'hôtel de ville de Amsterdam…. Tout comme les oeuvres de Quellin à Amsterdam, ce relief en terre cuite se rattache nettement au style de Rubens"). A gilt example of the model appears on the table in the center background in an Antwerp kuntskammer painting by Willem van Herp in the Palazzo Pitti, Florence (see K.L. Belkin and F. Healy, A House of Art: Rubens as Collector, Rubenshuis and Rubenianum, 2004, p. 50, fig. 65; see also Weihrauch, 1967, fig. 558).

Scholten accepts the present example, from the distinguished collection of Paul Wallraf (a patrician amateur "gentleman-dealer": Denys Sutton), as 17th century, albeit later than these first two. A cast similar to the present example, referenced by Weihrauch (1956) and formerly in the Camillo Castiglioni collection, Vienna, was bequeathed from the Boscawen collection to the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, acc. no. M.3-1997. A similar cast from the Jacques Doucet Collection, Paris, passed through the collection of the Marquis de Ganay to the Musée Angladon in Avignon, inv. E.4. Another similar cast was formerly in the collection of Nelson A. Rockefeller, New York.

In very good condition overall, with trivial defects consistent with its age.

Provenance:
with David Peel & Co., 1965;
Paul Wallraf Collection;
sold Sotheby's, December 8, 1983, lot 213.

Reference:
From Riccio to Clodion, exh. cat., David Peel & Co., London, 1965, no. 20.

Related Literature:
Avery, Victoria and Dillon, Jo, Renaissance and Baroque Bronzes from the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, exh. cat., The Frick Collection, New York, 2005, and Daniel Katz Ltd, London, 2002, no. 35, pp. 218-21 and 296-8.

Frederick Muller & Cie., Collection Camillo Castiglioni de Vienne, II. Bronzes Antiques et de la Renaissance, Amsterdam, 1925, p. 20, plate LXXXV.

Leeuwenberg, Jaap and Halsema-Kubes, Willy, Beeldhouwkunst in het Rijksmuseum,
's-Gravenhage, 1973, pp. 188-9, no. 240.

Scholten, Frits, From Vulcan’s Forge: Bronzes from the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, 1450-1700, exh. cat., Daniel Katz Ltd, London, 2005, pp. 136-7, no. 43.

Von Allen Seiten Schön: Bronzen der Renaissance und des Barock, exh. cat., Staatliche Museen, Berlin, 1995, pp. 532-3, no. 197.

Weihrauch, Hans R., Die Bildwerke in Bronze, Munich, Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, 1956, p. 169, no. 208.

______, Europäische Bronzestatuetten, Braunschweig, 1967, p. 377 and fig. 457; see also p. 472 and fig. 558.

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