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An Acrobat
  • Date: c. 1600
  • Object Type: Statuette
  • Medium: Copper alloy. Verde Antico marble socle
  • Height: 39.6 cm
  • Width: 10 cm
  • Depth: 10 cm
  • Inv: S91
  • Location: Sixteenth Century Gallery
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Further Reading
  • This statuette is said to have been Wallace’s last acquisition. He was a keen admirer of Renaissance bronzes, contrary to the 4th Marquess of Hertford, and gathered an important collection of pre-1700 bronze sculpture.

    A man standing on his hands is a very unusual theme in sculpture. It may have been inspired by a painting, known only from a drawing by Primaticcio (1504–1570), representing the Masquerade of Persepolis. This North Italian artist, who worked in France, included men performing a handstand in his composition.

    The sculptor brilliantly expressed the balance of the posture in the angle of the legs, and the backwards, off-centre turn of the head.