Hercules and the Erymanthian Boar

Italian (Florence)
mid-17th century
Attributed to Ferdinando Tacca (Italian, 1619–1686)

Object Place: Florence, Italy


Overall: 74.2 cm (29 3/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Metal; bronze

Not On View





Hercules carrying the Boar with its head facing backwards, steadying its weight with his right hand on its hind hoof, while his left hand rests on his hip.

The ancient hero Hercules strides forward, carrying the still-struggling Erymanthean boar over his shoulder. Hercules’s powerful musculature and the naturalistic rendering of the beast create a vivid image, animated further by the drapery that billows out behind. The exceptionally fine cast and surface finish, as well as the accomplished distribution of weight through Hercules’s open stance, suggest that the sculpture was made by Ferdinando Tacca. Tacca’s workshop continued the tradition of virtuoso bronze casting in Florence in the decades after Giambologna’s death.


Duke Gaetano Saraceni, Rome. Duc de Talleyrand (perhaps Napoleon Louis von Sagan de Talleyrand Perigord, b. 1811 - d. 1898), Paris. 1966, Renato Bacchi, Milan; 1966, sold by Bacchi to Leopold Blumka and Rosenberg and Stiebel, New York; about 1966/1967, sold by Rosenberg and Stiebel to William Appleton Coolidge (b. 1901 - d. 1992), Topsfield and Cambridge, MA; 1993, bequest of William Appleton Coolidge to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 27, 1993)

Credit Line

Bequest of William A. Coolidge