• Bowl or Wine Cooler with the Labors of Hercules
  • c. 1505
  • Giovanni Alberghetti the Elder
  • Italian (Ferrarese/Venetian School)
  • early 16th Century
  • cast bronze with dark brown patination
  • CMA 1963.49

The rejuvenation of antiquity during the Renaissance not only found expression in the sculpture, painting, and architecture of the period, but filtered down into the objects of everyday life such as this bronze bowl and the pair of bronze doorknockers in Gallery 3. This bowl is a Renaissance variation of the wine krater of antiquity. Its fanciful decoration of garlands, grotesques and scenes from the labors of Hercules a legendary hero from Greek and Roman mythology deliberately recalls the decadent splendor of ancient Rome. Because bronze was very expensive and the decorations are specific in their antique references, the bowl probably belonged to a wealthy patron who was part of an intellectual humanist circle.

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