The Apotheosis of Hercules oil on canvas, oval, with the corners made up 50.5 x 40.4cm (19 7/8 x 15 7/8in).
PROVENANCE: Sale, Leo Spik, November 1964 (with a certificate from Professor Herman Voss) With Lasson Gallery, London, 1965 Where purchased by the present owner
The present work can be compared with a number of sketches and frescoes that Carlone painted in the early 1730s, when active both in Ludwisburg for Prince Ludwig Eberhard of Württemberg, and near Heimsheim, in the Castle of Wilhelm von Gravenitz. For both commissions, a number of preparatory studies survive, and there is an almost literal correspondence between the present painting and the left group in the modello for the signed and dated 1730 frescoes in Gravenitz, now in the Württembergisches Landesmuseum in Stuttgart (see: P. O. Kruckmann, Carlo Carlone 1686-1775. Der Ansbacher Auftrag, exh. cat. (Landshut/Ergolding, 1990), no. 10, p. 151-152, ill. figs. 149, 150).
If the main difference between the finished frescoes and the aforementioned drawing is the presence/absence of the female figure playing the trumpet to the left of the main group, she appears almost identical in the sketch for the fresco depicting the Glory of Prince Ludwig Eberhard, now in the Musei Civici del Castello Sforzesco, Milan (see: A. Barigozzi Brini and K. Garas, Carlo Innocenzo Carlone (Milan, 1967), pp. 62-63, ill. fig. 40).