Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Neptune

Artist:
Attributed to Pietro da Barga (Italian, Florence, active 1574–88)
Date:
ca. 1580
Medium:
Copper alloy with light brown patina under a verdigris patina.
Dimensions:
H. 28.3 cm.
Classification:
Metalwork-Bronze
Credit Line:
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
Accession Number:
1975.1.1401
Not on view
Small-scale copies after the Antique such as this figure were a specialty of Pietro da Barga, who created many such reductions of Classical statuary for wealthy and discerning patrons such as the Medici grand dukes of Florence.
Inspired by a Hellenistic Greek or Roman statue or statuette, this figure was probably intended to represent Neptune, the Roman god of the sea. However, the figure could also depict Jupiter, the Roman god of the sky and king of the gods. The figure's identity remains ambiguous because the attribute he likely once brandished in his raised right hand—for example, a trident for Neptune or a thunderbolt for Jupiter—is now absent.
[Julius Goldschmidt, London]. Acquired by Robert Lehman through Goldschmidt in October 1959.
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