Orion

Hubert Gerhard (’s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands? 1540/50–ca. 1621 Munich?)
Orion
Cast probably before 1581
Bronze
10 1/4 in. (26 cm)
 

Orion’s lion skin and the sword and club he originally carried identify him as the mythical star-crossed lover who was transformed into a constellation by Jupiter. The detailed modeling of the figure’s rippling musculature reflects Gerhard’s knowledge of anatomy. Orion’s tilted head, arched torso, and angled arms accentuate the bodily play of sinews and muscles. This revealing pose was common to anatomical models such as the Écorché. Gerhard most likely studied such models in preparation for this delicately executed statuette.