Hercules and the Lion


Object Place: Europe, Austria


Height 28.6 cm (11 1/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Terracotta with polychromy

Not On View





Sketch-model in terracotta painted to look like bronze. Bearded Hercules with silver scarf at waist astride & holding open mouth of red-tongued, fork-tailed lion with right front paw raised.


Possibly Oscar Bondy (b. 1870 - d. 1944) and Elisabeth Bondy, Vienna and New York [see note 1]; possibly sold from the Bondy collection to Blumka Gallery, New York [see note 2]; 1956, sold by Blumka Gallery to the MFA for $800. (Accession Date: March 8, 1956)

[1] At the time of the sculpture's acquisition, Blumka Gallery was said to have acquired it "at the end of the war" from the Bondy collection. Attempts to identify this sculpture in inventories of Oscar Bondy's collection, however, have not been successful.

Oscar Bondy, a Jewish businessman living in Vienna, had owned a vast collection of paintings, sculptures, and works of decorative art, which was seized and expropriated with the Anschluss, or annexation of Austria to Nazi Germany in 1938. Mr. Bondy and his wife left Europe and emigrated to the United States, where he passed away in 1944. In the years following World War II, much of his collection was restituted to his widow and subsequently sold on the New York art market, particularly through Blumka Gallery.

Credit Line

H. E. Bolles Fund