Venus and Cupid Standing on a Dolphin

Benedikt Wurzelbauer, Nicolaus Pfaff

Benedikt Wurzelbauer, Nicolaus Pfaff - Venus and Cupid Standing on a Dolphin
The prototype for this sculptural group was one of the versions of the ancient Venus on the Capitol (Paris, Musée du Louvre). The Prague group, which originally decorated the top of a fountain, was commissioned by the High Steward of the Kingdom of Bohemia and an important supporter of Rudolfine artists, Christoph Popel of Lobkowicz, for the garden of his palace, which was situated in the place of the present Sternberg Palace in Hradčany. The entire bronze fountain was composed of a socle, from which caryatids grew, supporting a massive basin in whose centre the exhibited sculptural group loomed (bearing a Lobkowicz coat-of-arms on the socle, as well). The fountain at work, with the lively play of the water element, was represented in a period drawing by a Nuremberg burgher and architect Jakob Wolfgang Stromer von Reichenbach, in the Baumeisterbuch. Its probable design can be seen in a much better-quality period sketch from the so-called Baer set (at the National Gallery in Prague). In 1648 the Swedes took the group to Stockholm as part of the war spoils and it was only in the late 19th century that it laboriously found its way to Prague again.
measurements: height 120 cm
material: bronze
inventory number: P 4606
gallery collection: Collection of Old Masters