Willem Danielsz. van Tetrode (Delft? ca. 1525–1580 Wedinghausen, Germany)
Cast probably late 1560s
15 5/8 in. (39.5 cm)
The lure of classical antiquity and the promise of patronage drew northern artists such as Tetrode and his contemporary Giambologna to Italy. The pose of Tetrode’s Mars Gradivus derives from an ancient sculpture, but the heavy musculature, flowing hair, and moustache reflect contemporary northern ideals.
Tetrode probably composed this statuette in Florence around the same time as Giambologna created his version of Mars. Both depict Mars striding forward, leading troops into battle. Tetrode emphasizes the war god’s unleashed physical power; Giambologna, his eloquent gesture of command.