Model Field Cannon (Serpentine)

A work made of bronze, iron, wood, and paint.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of bronze, iron, wood, and paint.

Date:

1595

Artist:

Possibly by Hans Reischperger
Austrian, Vienna, active 1595

About this artwork

Coiled around the front end of this cannon barrel is a serpent, reflecting the cannon type (serpentine), a medieval weapon with a relatively long barrel and light construction. In the 16th century, large artillery were given names of birds of prey or other predatory animals, such as falcon, serpent, or basilisk. Following this tradition, the Renaissance artist who made this piece used the surface of the barrel as a ground for applied and relief decoration—standing lions, fire-breathing dragons, striking serpents, arched dolphins, heraldic devices, and symbolic representations of classical Roman and Greek heroes. In addition to the serpent, the artist sculpted twin handles as dolphins. Cast in relief on the barrel are the date and the name Hans Reichsperger, which is the name of either the artist or the owner.

On View

Arms, Armor, Medieval, and Renaissance, Gallery 239

Artist

Hans Reischperger

Title

Model Field Cannon (Serpentine)

Origin

Vienna

Date

1590–1600

Medium

Bronze, iron, wood, and paint

Inscriptions

Inscribed: Master Hans Reischperger

Dimensions

Barrel L. 85.8 cm (33 3/4 in.) Caliber: 3.3 cm (1 1/4 in.) Carriage L.: 97.2 cm (38 1/8 in.) Front W.: 13.4 cm (5 1/4 in.) Trail W. at base: 21 cm (8 1/4 in.) Diameter of Wheels: 57.5 cm (22 5/8 in.) Distance between outside of hubs: 52.1 cm (20 1/2 in.) L. of mounted cannon from muzzle to end of trail: 143.7 cm (53 in.) Overall L: 59.7 × 8.9 cm (23 1/2 × 3 1/2 in.) Cannon Wt.: 53 lb. 4 oz.

Credit Line

George F. Harding Collection

Reference Number

1982.2184a-b

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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