U. Seeger, Stadtpalais und Belvedere des Prinzen Eugen,p. 39, ill.433
Paul Strudel was born in Cles, Trentino, in 1648. His training as a sculptor took place initially at his father Jacob’s workshop, and then in Venice, where he came into contact with the German painter Johann Carl Loth i Venice. In 1684 he moved to Vienna, where between 1696 and 1708 sculpted the famous portraits of the Hofburg, a work carried out by his brother Peter, who was also a sculptor and a painter. Today, the statues are kept in the National Library in Vienna and in the Hall of Habsburg Franzensburg castle in Luxenbourg.
The pair of trophies under discussion here are likely to have been designed by Fischer von Erlach for Prince Eugen of Savoy’s Belvedere Palace in Vienna. The two sculptures share a similar compositional structure, both displaying two crossed flags with oval shields in front of them and a sword in the centre, with two helmets at the base. The attributes depicted in the two sculptures suggest that they are allegories. The trophy with a laurel branch and a winged helmet is an Allegory of Victory, while the trophy with a helmet surmounted by an eagle and a feather down the centre is an Allegory of Fortitude. The two allegorical trophies are remarkable for the outstanding technical skill displayed in their execution and for the inspired mastery of design and creativity inspired by Bernini.