Mercury

Object Details

Title:

Mercury

Artist/Maker:

Johann Gregor van der Schardt (Dutch, about 1530 - 1581)

Culture:

Dutch

Place:

Netherlands (Place created)

Date:

about 1570–1580

Medium:

Bronze

Object Number:

95.SB.8

Dimensions:

114.9 × 86.4 × 38.1 cm, 39.9165 kg (45 1/4 × 34 × 15 in., 88 lb.)

See more

See less

Mercury was messenger to Jupiter and served as patron of travel, commerce, science, and thievery in Greek and Roman mythology. Johan Gregor van der Schardt shows the young, athletic figure of Mercury, identified by the winged sandals and hat he wears and the caduceus he carries, as he effortlessly returns from flight. Van der Schardt suggested the spontaneity of his landing through the asymmetry of his body: Mercury tilts his head and twists his body so that his right hip comes forward while his right shoulder swings back. Mercury was cast hollow from a wax model. After casting, the hair and parts of the wings and sandals were reworked with chisels to accentuate their crispness. In the late sixteenth century, the Getty Museum's Mercurybelonged to Paul Praun, a Nuremberg collector who lived in Bologna and assembled a legendary art collection there.

Provenance
- 1616

Paulus Praun, German, 1548 - 1616, by inheritance to his heirs, 1616.

1616 - 1801

Heirs of Paulus Praun, German, 1548 - 1616 (Nuremberg, Germany), sold to Johann Friedrich Frauenholz, 1801.

1801 - probably 1818

Johann Friedrich Frauenholz, German, 1758 - 1822, sold to Franz Erwein Schönborn-Wiesentheid, probably 1818.

probably 1818 - 1840

Count Franz Erwein von Schönborn, German, 1776 - 1840 (Reichartshausen, Rheingau, Germany), by inheritance to his heirs, 1840.

1840 - by 1994

Heirs of Count Franz Erwein von Schönborn, German, 1776 - 1840 (Schloss Weissenstein, Pommersfelden, Germany), sold to Same Art Ltd., by 1994.

by 1994 - 1995

Same Art Ltd., sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1995.

Exhibitions
Die Grafen von Schönborn: Kirchenfürsten, Sammler, Mäzene (February 18 to April 23, 1989)
  • Germanisches Nationalmuseum (Nuremberg), February 18 to April 23, 1989
Das Praunsche Kabinett: Meisterwerke von Dürer bis Carracci (March 3 to May 15, 1994)
  • Germanisches Nationalmuseum (Nuremberg), March 3 to May 15, 1994
Bella Figura: Europäische Bronzekunst in Süddeutschland um 1600 (February 5 to May 25, 2015)
  • Bayerisches Nationalmuseum (Munich), February 5 to May 25, 2015
Art of Alchemy (October 11, 2016 to February 12, 2017)
  • The Getty Research Institute (Los Angeles), October 11, 2016 to February 12, 2017
Bibliography

Murr, Christophe Theophile de. Description du cabinet de Monsieur Paul de Praun à Nuremberg (Nuremberg: Jean Théophile Schneider, 1797), p. 230, no. 1.

Peltzer, Rudolf A. "Johann Gregor von der Schardt (Jan de Zar) aus Nymwegen, ein Bildhauer der Spaetrenaissance." Münchner Jahrbuch der Bildenden Kunst 10 (1916-1918), pp. 201, 210.

Pilz, Kurt. "Nürnberg und die Niederlande." Mitteilungen des Vereins für Geschichte der Stadt Nürnberg 43 (1952), p. 91.

Filedt Kok, J.P., W. Halsema-Kubes, and W. Th. Kloek, eds. Kunst voor de Beeldenstorm: Noordnederlandse Kunst 1525-1580 (Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum, with Staatsuitgeverij, 1986), pp. 461, 462n3, entry by Anthony Radcliffe.

Kloek, W. Th., W. Halsema-Kubes, and R. J. Baarsen. Art Before the Iconoclasm: Northern Netherlandish Art 1525-1580 (Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum, with Staatsuitgeverij, 1986), p. 168.

Maué, Hermann, and Sonja Brink, eds. Die Grafen von Schönborn: Kirchfürsten, Sammler, Mäzene, exh. cat. (Nuremberg: Germanisches Nationalmuseum; with Verlag des Germanischen Nationalmuseums, 1989), pp. 243-44, no. 116, ill., entry by Katharina Bott.

Maué, Hermann. "Die Grafen von Schönborn-Kirchenfürsten, Sammler, Mäzene: Ergänzungen und Korrekturen." In Anzeiger des Germanischen Nationalmuseums (Nuremberg: Germanisches Nationalmuseum, 1989), pp. 184-86, no. 116, entry by Katharina Bott.

Honnens de Lichtenberg, Hanne. Johan Gregor van der Schardt: Bildhauer bei Kaiser Maximilian II., am dänischen Hof und bei Tycho Brahe. Georg Albrecht Mai, trans. (Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press, with University of Copenhagen, 1991), pp. 13, 55, 57, 77, 80-81, 84, 117-18, 153, 243-45, fig. 33.

Smith, Jeffrey Chipps. "Netherlandish Artists and Art in Renaissance Nuremberg." Simiolus: Netherlands Quarterly for the History of Art 20, no. 2-3 (1990-1991), p. 158n20.

Larsson, Lars Olof. European Bronzes 1450-1700 (Stockholm: Swedish National Art Museums, 1992), p. 60, under no. 22.

Berger, Ursel. "Bemerkungen zum Werk von Johann Gregor van der Schardt anlässlich der ersten Monographie über den Bildhauer." Kunstchronik 46, no. 7 (July 1993), p. 367.

Achilles-Syndram, Katrin, ed. Die Kunstsammlung des Paulus Praun: Die Inventare von 1616 und 1719 (Nuremberg: Selbstverlag des Stadtrats zu Nürnberg, 1994), p. 50; p. 137, no. 251; pp. 249-50, no. 410; p. 452, fig. 56.

Löcher, Kurt, ed. Kunst des Sammelns: Das Praunsche Kabinett, Meisterwerke von Dürer bis Carracci, exh. cat. (Nuremberg: Germanisches Nationalmuseum, 1994), pp. 357-58, no. 180, ill., entry by Ursel Berger.

Smith, Jeffrey Chipps. German Sculpture of the Later Renaissance c. 1520-1580: Art in an Age of Uncertainty (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994), pp. 294, 392.

Larsson, Lars Olof. "Merkur auf Stjärneborg: Eine Bronzestatuette Johann Gregor van der Schardts im Besitz Tycho Brahes?" In Kunstsplitter: Beiträge zur nordeuropäischen Kunstgeschichte; Festschrift für Wolfgang J. Müller zum 70. Geburtstag überreicht von Kollegen und Schülern (Husum: Husum Druck- und Verlagsgesellschaft, 1984), p. 77.

Berger, Ursel, and Volker Krahn. Bronzen der Renaissance und des Barock: Katalog der Sammlung (Braunschweig: Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum, 1994), p. 229, under no. 192.

Krahn, Volker, ed. Von allen Seiten schön: Bronzen der Renaissance und des Barock: Wilhelm von Bode zum 150. Geburtstag, exh. cat. (Berlin: Staatliche Museen zu Berlin-Preussischer Kulturbesitz, with Edition Braus, 1995), p. 316, under no. 92.

Welzel, Barbara. "Neue Forschungen zur Kunstsammlung des Paulus Praun." Kunstchronik 49, no. 7 (July 1996), pp. 301, 303, fig. 2.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 4th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), pp. 234, 246-47, ill.

Gribbon, Deborah. "Selected Acquisitions Made by the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1995-97." Burlington Magazine 139, no. 1136 (November 1997), p. 823, no. 7, ill.

Fusco, Peter. Summary Catalogue of European Sculpture in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 46, ill.

Fusco, Peter, Peggy Anne Fogelman, and Marietta Cambareri. Masterpieces of the J. Paul Getty Museum: European Sculpture (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1998), pp. 34-37, no. 9, ill., entry by Marietta Cambareri.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 6th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), pp. 246-47, ill.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 7th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2007), p. 193, ill.

Krahn, Volker. "Die Erwerbung der Venus-Adonis-Gruppeund des Raubes der Proserpinafür das Deutsche Museum in Berlin." In Neue Beiträage zu Adriaen de Vries: Vorträage des Adriaen de Vries Symposiums vom 16. bis 18. April 2008 in Stadthagen und Bückeburg (Bielefeld: Verlag für Regionalgeschichte, 2008), p. 146.

Krahn, Volker. "Johann Gregor van der Schardts "Merkur" zu Gast an der Spree." Museums Journal 22, no. 3 (July-September 2008), p. 22, ill.

Vincent, Clare, and Bruce Chandler. "Rudolf II's Celestial Globe on the Wings of Pegasus." Jahrbuch des Kunsthistorischen Museums Wien 12/14 (2013), pp. 112-13, fig. 8.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 8th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2015), p. 243, ill.

Eikelmann, Renate, ed. Bella Figura: Europäische Bronzekunst in Süddeutschland um 1600, exh. cat. (Munich: Bayerische Nationalmuseum, with Hirmer, 2015), pp. 68, 70, fig. 26, pp. 154-57, no. 5, entry by Jens L. Burk.