Firebacks

  1. 1273

    von_den_driesch_01.jpg
    790 x 1110 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel with bead on fillet edging, pictorial scene of Hercules standing, right arm akimbo and left hand holding a club that rests on his shoulder; to his right the allegorical female figure of Virtue, clothed and resting her left hand on Hercules's right shoulder; to his left the female allegorical figure of Volupta, the pair symbolising the 'crossroads' where Hercules has to decide which path in life to take; below them the text VIRTUS HERCULES VOLUPTA; above, seated above clouds, Jupiter surveys the scene, the word IVPITER below; arched rectangular border with fillet edging, from a central bunch of grapes at the top of the arch, a ribbon on each side suspends bunches of fruit and flowers; at the bottom a central cartouche containing the inscription 'L7G', with flowers on each side;; on top are two mirrored dolphins, their tails covering a bunch of grapes.

    Notes: The pictorial scene is loosely based on a painting c.1636-7 by Nicholas Poussin. The inscription at the bottom indicates the style of border; other firebacks with the same inscription have the same border; similar inscriptions (e.g. L6C and L8G) indicate different borders. Image from von den Driesch (p. 512).

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: IVPITER / VIRTVS HERCVLES VOLVPTA / L7C

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 17th century in the Siegerland area of Germany.

    Current location:, not known.

    Citation: Driesch, K. von den , 1990, Handbuch der Ofen-, Kamin- und Takenplatten im Rheinland (Cologne, Rheinland-Verlag).