The statuettes Lazarus and Cain Slaying Abel can be viewed equally well from all sides because the figures are twisting - or serpentining - around their own axes. Such serpentinata is a typical feature of Mannerism, a courtly style that de Vries appropriated while studying under the sculptor Giambologna in Florence as a young man. In Denmark, King Christian IV had a penchant for the sophisticated and distinctive Mannerist style.

On Danish soil Adrian de Vries is best known for the Neptune Fountain (1615-18), which was commissioned by Christian IV for Frederiksborg Castle in Hillerød.Like the fountain, Lazarus and Cain Slaying Abel were created in de Vries’ old age. Perhaps de Vries even gave Christian IV the statuettes in connection with the commissioning and payment of the Neptune Fountain.


  • Title: Cain killing Abel
  • Creator: Adriaen de Vries
  • Creator Lifespan: 1550'erne 's-Gravenhage - 1626 Praha
  • Creator Nationality: Dutch
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Death Place: Praha
  • Creator Birth Place: 's-Gravenhage
  • Date Created: 1622
  • Værktekst: Statuetterne Lazarus og Kain dræber Abel kan ses lige godt fra alle sider, fordi figurerne drejer sig omkring deres egen akse som en serpentine. Denne serpentinata er typisk for manierismen, en hofstil, som De Vries havde tilegnet sig som ung hos skulptøren Giambologna i Firenze. Herhjemme havde Christian 4. smag for manierismens raffinerede og manierede udtryk. Adrian de Vries er på dansk jord netop bedst kendt for Neptunfontænen (1615-18), som blev skabt til Frederiksborg Slot i Hillerød på bestilling fra Christian 4.Lazarus og Kain dræber Abel blev ligesom Fontænen til i De Vries’ alderdom. Måske har De Vries ligefrem selv skænket Christian 4. statuetterne i forbindelse med bestillingen og afregningen af Neptunfontænen.
  • Teknik: Bronze, forgyldt
  • Proveniens: Kunstkammeret før 1749
  • Provenance: Acquired before 1749
  • Physical Dimensions: w21 x h70 x d26 cm (Without frame)
  • Dansk link: http://www.smk.dk/index.php?id=2664
  • Dansk Titel: Kain dræber Abel
  • Type: Figurine/statuette
  • Rights: Statens Museum for Kunst, http://www.smk.dk/en/copyright/creative-commons/
  • Medium: Bronze group. Gilt

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