The white marble sculpture Hercules and Cacus
is to the right of the entrance of the Palazzo Vecchio in the Piazza della Signoria, Florence, Italy.
This work by the Florentine artist Baccio Bandinelli
(1525–1534) was commissioned as a pendant to David
, which had been commissioned by the republican counsel of Florence, under Piero Soderini (gonfaloniere
for life), to commemorate the victory over the Medici
(height : 5.05 m) was originally given to Michelangelo and meant to complement the David
but later appropriated by the Medici family as a symbol of their renewed power after their return from exile in 1512, and again in 1530. Although descriptions of its unveiling in 1534 provided verbal and written criticisms of the marble, most were instead aimed at the Medici family for dissolving the Republic and were not aesthetic. A few of the writers of these hypercritical verses were imprisoned by Alessandro de'Medici, further suggesting a political commentary. The two harshest critics were Giorgio Vasari and Benvenuto Cellini, both of whom were champions of Michelangelo and rivals of Bandinelli for Medici patronage. Vasari lamented the change of hands from Michelangelo to Bandinelli, and the change of design. Cellini referred to the emphatic musculature as "a sack full of melons," forgetting that Michelangelo had received similar deprecation previously by Leonardo da Vinci. Neither Vasari, nor Cellini can be viewed as unbiased resources due to their... Read More