Colnaghi Collections_Vol 01 - Page 75

Doc. Florence, 1522 – 1588
ca. 1568
Carrara marble
150 x 48 x 33 cm
This sculpture is listed in the 1751 inventory of in the Casa de
Probably Per Afán de Ribera, 1 Duke of
Pilatos, the Sevillian residence of the Dukes of Alcalá.1 Its earlier
Alcala (1509-1571), Casa de Pilatos, Seville;
presence in the family collections is demonstrated by a plaster cast
Thence by descent to Luis Fernández de
incorporated in the decoration of the Colegio del Corpus Christi in
Córdoba y Salabert, 17 Duke of Medinaceli
Valencia (fig. 8.1), founded in 1583 by the city’s archbishop, Juan de
(1880-1956); By inheritance to his daughter
Ribera, the natural son of Per Afán, 1st Duke of Alcalá.2 The latter
Casilda Fernández de Córdoba, 20th Duchess
was viceroy of Naples from 1558 until the time of his death in 1571.
of Cardona (1941-1998), Cordoba.
During his sojourn in Italy, Per Afán was actively collecting ancient
and contemporary sculpture to incorporate into the redecoration
of his family seat in Seville. The documentary evidence relating to
the different stages of this project suggests that the Hercules was
positioned in a niche of the upper loggia of a two-story building,
later known as the library, in the so-called Jardín Grande, by at least
1569.3 The work must then have been imported from Italy around
this time and executed slightly earlier.
On stylistic grounds the work can be attributed to the Florentine
sculptor, Giovanni di Scherano Fancelli. Although little evidence
of this artist’s career and oeuvre survives, he must have been
one of the principal protagonists in the Florentine artistic milieu
between the death of Michelangelo and the rise of Giambologna,
as testified by two important documented works: a magnificent,
monumental Jupiter, datable to the 1580s4 (fig. 8.2) and an antique
Lion, reworked at the behest of Ferdinando de’ Medici around
1582, now on the Loggia dei Lanzi, but originally decorating the
entrance to the Villa Medici in Rome (fig. 8.3). 5


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