Colnaghi Collections_Vol 01 - Catalog - Page 76
hair recalls Vincenzo de’ Rossi’s Theseus and Ariadne (1558-1560,
Florence, Boboli Gardens), though with reduced expressiveness
and attention to naturalism.
Both the Jupiter and the Hercules demonstrate a debt to Michelangelo’s
David (1501-1504), as well as Cellini’s Florentine works, in particular
the Apollo and Hyacinth (ca. 1546-1548) (fig. 8.7), from which derives
the twist of the body and the gentle sway of the anatomy.
These elements imply that prior to the arrival of Giambologna,
Fancelli had thoroughly absorbed the lessons of the two masters
responsible for shaping the development of Florentine sculpture
in the sixteenth century.
Figs 8.4 & 8.5 Details of Hercules and Jupiter.
There are also affinities with the abovementioned reworked,
ancient Lion, (see fig. 8.3). Like the Lion’s mane, Hercules’s lion’s
skin mantle is similarly adorned with heavy tresses, which flow in a
sinusoidal pattern, at times overlapping and assuming a threadlike
appearance: some locks, bearing chisel marks, divide halfway
down into two or three strands, which intertwine, creating a thick,
tangled mass of continuously overlapping curls.
The base of Hercules, which derives from that of Michelangelo’s
Bacchus and his David, is multifaceted like those of Jupiter and the
Medici Lion, with irregular and craggy surfaces characterized by
Fig. 8.1 After Giovanni di Scherano Fancelli, Hercules, plaster cast, Valencia,
Colegio del Corpus Christi.
deep veining. Moreover, some technical characteristics also appear
to support a common paternity, as for example the tendency to
The first of these, the Jupiter, was probably produced shortly before
mark the surface of the material to the rear with a deep line scored
1588. Although the original patron of this work is unknown, it
into the marble using a round-pointed chisel.
has been conserved in Palazzo Martellini in Florence since at least
the beginning of the last century.6 Similarities can be observed
Fancelli is known to have been active in Florence from 1560,
between the pose, as well as the strong emphasis on and delicate
and the identification of Hercules as a work by his hand supplies a
modulation of the abdominals, distinguished by a common
missing link in the activity of this sculptor, whose only known other
naturalism; in both sculptures, the artist emphasizes the breastbone
works belong to the final phase of his career. Assuming that it dates
and musculature dividing the lower abdomen from the genital
to a more Cellini-influenced period in his career, it is possible to
area. Comparison between the faces is even more compelling:
deduce that the Hercules was executed at some point in the 1560s,
in both volume is defined according to classical ideals; eyes with
a theory that accords with the hypothesis that sculpture arrived in
narrow lids, round, fleshy ears, a slightly pointed nose, and a deeply
incised rectangular mouth framed by a curly beard (figs. 8.4 &
Fig. 8.2 Giovanni di Scherano Fancelli, Jupiter, before 1588, marble,
241 x 85 x 53 cm, Florence, Palazzo Martinelli.
Spain prior to the death of the 1st Duke of Alcalá in 1571.
8.5). In both sculptures, the construction of the figure suggests the
We are grateful to Lorenzo Principi and Sergio Ramirez whose
influence of Giambologna’s Oceanus (after 1572) (fig. 86), though
research forms the basis of this entry. An article by these scholars
the treatment of the body is more sinuous. The dynamism of the
on this material will be published later this year.
Fig. 8.3 Lion, Roman 2 nd century AD, reworked by Giovanni di Scherano Fancelli,
cipollino marble, 126 cm high, Florence, Loggia dei Lanzi.