Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sculpture and Bourdelle's Hercules the Archer

Encountering famous art unexpectedly is like running into a unicorn.
"What are YOU doing HERE?"

This sculpture was at the same ongoing estate sale where I found Oscar. The deceased gentleman had an incredible eye and a long time to collect. I'd love to know the story of how he came by this sculpture. Too late to buy it myself, I could only rend my garments and gnash my teeth and hope that the purchaser knows what a great deal he got.

The sculpture, a plaster cast from the table sized edition, is known by the grand title of Herakles the Archer Killing the Stymphalian Birds.

Created in 1909 by French sculptor Antoine Bourdelle, the sculpture depicts Hercules' Sixth Labor. Hercules was required to destroy a huge flock of man-eating birds at a lake near the town of Stymphalos. After Hercules was aided by Athena who gave him a pair of clappers to scare the birds from their hiding place, he was able to pick them off with his bow and poison-tipped arrows.

But like seeing a unicorn, meeting Bourdelle's Hercules made my day....

No comments: