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Image of Heracles the Archer

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Heracles the Archer

Emile-Antoine Bourdelle, French, (October 30, 1861–1929)

Creation date: ca. 1909
Creation place: France

Other Information

Type: Bronze Sculpture
Medium and Support: Bronze
Credit Line: Gift of Pliny F. Munger
Accession Number: 1962.227
Dimensions: 30 1/2 in. x 29 in. x 13 3/4 in. (77.47 cm x 73.66 cm x 34.93 cm)
Currently on view


Dalzell Hatfield Galleries, Los Angeles, California ( - June 1, 1958)

Pliny Fisk Munger, San Diego, California (June 1, 1958 - 1962)

San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, California (1962 - )

Label Copy

Sculpture, Fine Arts Gallery, San Diego, 1977.
The sculpture always retained a taste for elegant contour. He studied with Rodin but did not show the emotional expressiveness of Rodin; he turned more toward the cool classicism of Greek sculpture. Herakles (to the Romans, Hercules), the son of Zeus and the strongest of all the legendary Greek heros, shows his great strength and rippling muscles as he draws his bow.

April 2003
Paris: A Century as Europe's Art Capital
This is a reduced version of a large-scale work that Bourdelle sculpted in his Paris studio for the 1910 Salon. In spite of its poor placement in a dark corner in the exhibition, Herakles caused a sensation and made Bourdelle’s reputation.

Bourdelle was arguably the most gifted student to leave Rodin’s studio, where he had worked under the master from 1893 to 1906, learning well lessons of dynamism, volume, equilibrium, and rhythm in three dimensions. Like Rodin, Bourdelle was well versed in the sculptural traditions of the past, especially that of classical Antiquity. This work refers to archaic Greek sculpture—a fragment from the pediment of the Temple of Zeus at Aegina. It depicts the sixth of Herakles’s labors: shooting the man-eating Stymphalian Birds.
Last Updated: 11/26/2018


This object was included in the following exhibitions:

Choices from the Grant-Munger Collection San Diego Museum of Art , 4/13/1961 - 5/28/1961

Sculpture, Fine Arts Gallery, San Diego , 1/1/1977 - 4/1/1977


This object has the following bibliographic references:

Grant-Munger Collection: San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, California, May 1970
Page Number: 8, Figure Number: 15

Grant-Munger Collection: San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, California, May 1970
Page Number: 100-101, no. 15

Mr. Dalzell Hatfield. Artorama: Dalzell Hatfield Galleries. Los Angeles, California, 1960
Page Number: 15, Figure Number: 15


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