Hans Michel, Basle, ca. 1582
height 17.2 cm
The Basle collector Basilius Amerbach recorded in 1585 that the sculptor Hans Michel had copied the torso of Jupiter from a bronze statuette. The bronze original showing Jupiter crowned and holding bolts of lightning in his right hand was believed to be antique, but in reality it was a Renaissance work. The bronze and the wax model, which documents the transformation from the original to the torso, both survive in the Museum. A comparison of the works provides an insight into the late Renaissance understanding of the antique. It also illustrates the personal style of the sculptor, whose other known works are all large scale. Hans Michel was originally from Strasbourg and was granted citizenship in Basle in 1574. In 1580 he made the monumental stone figure of Munatius Plancus in the courtyard of the town hall. Architectural sculptures, fountains and tombs by him survive in Delemont, Ribeauville and Sackingen. Next to Daniel Heintz he was the most important sculptor in Basle at the end of the C16.