Danzig am Mittelmeer. Die Bronzeskulptur des Neptunbrunnens – Ikonographie, Bilderfindung und Bedeutung

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Albert Boesten-Stengel


 The bronze statue of Neptune (around 1615–20) in the Long Market (Długi

Targ) in Gdańsk unifies two opposed antique prototypes, a contrapposto

 figure which shows the god Neptune peacefully resting, and a dynamic figure

applying the trident, his weapon, in combat. The new combination represents

mimetically the changeable nature of the god’ s liquid sphere, the sea.

In its artistic invention the statue manifests such an exact knowledge and

familiarity with the study of antiquity and the artistic methods from Michelangelo

Buonarroti until to Giambologna (Jean Boulogne, 1529– 1608), that

we have to look for the artist among those trained in sixteenth Century Florence.

Among the works of the Dutch Hubert Gerhard (1550– 1620), trained

until to 1581 in Florence in the circle of Giambologna and later active in

Augsburg and Munich as a leading Northern Mannerist artist, the Archangel

Vanquishing Lucifer (1588) at the facade of St Michael’s Church (M unich)

comes most close to the movement expressed in the Gdańsk Ne ptune.


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