Dimensions: 16 x 11,5 cm
Adrian de Vries: (c.1556-1626) was a Northern Mannerist sculptor born in the Netherlands but working in Central Europe, whose international style crossed the threshold to the Baroque; he excelled in refined modelling and bronze casting and in the manipulation of patina and became the most famous European sculptor of his generation. He also excelled in draughtsmanship.
Partly as a result of the disturbances of the Thirty Years' War, and also changes in style, Adriaen de Vries had no direct follower. Born in The Hague to a patrician family, his early training is obscure; a recent suggestion suggests an apprenticeship with Willem Danielsz. van Tetrode, known in Italy as Guglielmo Fiammingo, a pupil of Benvenuto Cellini who had returned to the Netherlands. Another possibility is that he was apprenticed to a goldsmith, his brother-in-law Simon Adriaensz Rottermont. Both possibilities are suggestive in view of de Vries' virtuoso casting technique and refined finish. The Rijksmuseum owns the only two sculptures by de Vries found in his native Netherlands, a bronze relief of Bacchus and Ariadne, and the recently purchased (2014) Bacchant. The artist was scarcely known there until the exhibition mounted by the Rijksmuseum, the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, and the J. Paul Getty Museum in 1999. Fourteen sculptures, the largest collection of De Vries' work, are in Museum De Vries at Drottningholm Palace, opened in 2001. Their presence in Sweden is the result of the Sack of Prague in the last days of the Thirty Years' War, when the Swedes pillaged what remained of Rudolf's huge collections, and took a great many statues, in particular duke Albrecht von Wallenstein's garden statues, that used to adorn his palace on the Lesser Town (city quarter) of Prague. The originals, now to be found in Museum de Vries, are represented by bronze replicas at the Wallenstein Palace in Prague, now seat of the Czech senate. Another famous work by de Vries also now at Drottningholm was the Neptunus Fountain, made for Frederiksborg Palace in Denmark. These sculptures were also taken as prizes of war, during the Dano-Swedish War (1658-60).