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Superb Centaur Nessus & Deianeira Antique Gilt Bronze Signed J.Leduc (1848-1918)

Price: $29,500
  • Item No: 75691

Superb antique gilt bronze sculpture by Arthur Jacques LeDuc depicting the Centaur Nessus carying off the wife of Hercules. The bronze is an original lifetime casting with its original gilt bronze patina. The base is a variagated burgandy marble with gilt bronze under plate frame the deluxe edition. The bronze measures 30 inches tall by 23 inches wide from the centaurs left front hoof to the back of Deianeiras right foot. This sculpture is from my own collection of mythological antique bronze sculptures. It has never appeared at auction or has been pictured on the interent before. I have owned this bronze a long time and now I am selling many pieces from my collection. I hope the new owner will appreciate this sculpture as I have over the years and finds the mythological history of this bronze interesting. The sculptor has captured in bronze the story of Nessus. Nessus was a centaur ferryman who offered assistance in carrying people across a river. He offered to carry Deianeira the wife of Hercles but instead of carrying her accros the river he tried to run off with and violate her. Hercules hearing his wifes screems saw what was happening and shot an arrow at Nessus killing him. As the beast lay almost dead he told Deianeira to take some of his blood and use it as a potion and that it would preserve the love and fidelity of her husband. Hercules sent his companion Lichas to Deianeira in Trachis to fetch his white tunic. Deianeira was worried that Iole was with her husband and remembered the words of Nessus , she soaked the tunic in a potion made from Centaur's blood hoping thus to regain his love. Scarcely had Hercules put on the tunic he felt himself devoured by inner fire. Maddened with pain, he seized Lichas by the feet thinking he caused this to happen to Hercules and flung him into the sea; then, tearing up pine trees by their roots he made himself a funeral fire , mounted it and ordered hs companions to set it alight. All refused.Finally Poeas, father of Philoctetes, lighted the pines and Hercules rewarded him by giving him his bow and arrows. The flames crackled and rose around the hero. At the moment that they reached his body a cloud decended from the skies and in an apotheosis of thunder and lightning, the son of Zeus disappeared from the eyes of men. He was admitted to Olympus where he was reconciled with Hera. He was married to her daughter Hebe and from then on lived the blissful and magnificient life of the Immortals. His wife Deianeira after finding out the potion was poison, committed suicide.