Pair of bronze sculptures of Mercury and Fortuna after Giambologna

After Giambologna (Italian, 1529-1608)


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The patinated bronze figures depict the classical Roman messenger god, Mercury and the goddess of luck, Fortuna. Both figures stand on cylindrical yellow marble plinths, which are encircled by bronze panels. These panels are decorated with continuous relief scenes, depicting cherubs sailing ships and consulting globes.

Both figures are pictured in the nude, adopting spritely poses. Each supports their body weight on one leg, and flicks the other out behind them. Fortuna is poised on the tip of a cloud-like, swirling base, while Mercury stands on a gust of wind, issued from the mouth of the god, Zephyrus. Mercury’s heels are winged, to allow the god to fly through the air and deliver messages to the Olympian gods.

In both sculptures, one arm is raised up in the air — Mercury points to the heavens, and Fortuna clasps the stem of the trumpet, which she lifts up to the sky. Each figure bends their other arm to hip level — Mercury holds his staff, the caduceus, in his left hand, and Fortuna uses her lowered right hand to clasp onto the piece of fabric that partially covers her body. Fortuna is depicted with her hair elegantly tied up, while Mercury wears a winged helmet.

These figures are based on bronze works by the famous Mannerist sculptor, Giambologna (1529-1608). Giambologna’s sculpture of Mercury is especially well-known. It was created in 1580 for Ferdinando de’ Medici. The piece was intended as a sculptural finial for a fountain in the Villa Medici in Rome, but was moved in 1780 to the Uffizi Museum in Florence. The bronzes are signed ‘J. Bologne’ for Jean Boulogne, Giambologna’s birth name.

Mercury: Height 83cm, width 18cm, depth 27cm
Fortuna: Height 80cm, width 14cm, depth 20cm


Artist / Maker
After Giambologna (Italian, 1529-1608)
Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
19th Century
19th Century
Academic, Classical, Figurative Art, Neoclassical, Old Master, Renaissance
Bronze, Marble, Patinated Bronze
Brown, Yellow


83 cm / 32.7 inches
18 cm / 7.1 inches
27 cm / 10.6 inches


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