This relief illustrates the legend according to which Pope Leo the Great came to meet Attila, king of the Huns invading Italy, to persuade him to turn back. During this encounter, the two princes of the Apostles, Peter and Paul, supposedly appeared to Attila, hovering in the clouds and hurrying with drawn swords to the aid of the Church in her hour of need. Deeply perturbed by this, Attila is said to have withdrawn from Italy. Alessandro Algardi illustrated this theme in a colossal marble relief, made between 1646 and 1653 for St. Peters in Rome, a work which established his international reputation. Shortly afterwards, his pupil Ercole Ferrata made a smaller terracotta version, which was cast in silver relief and presented to the Spanish king in 1657. The bronze relief in the treasury seems to have been cast from the same model.
Bronze, feuervergoldet; Rahmen: Bronze, Kupfer, Silber
H. 98 cm, B. 59,5 cm
H. 158 cm, B. 96 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Geistliche Schatzkammer
Schatzkammer, GS D 164
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