dynamic figure balanced on left leg while right leg swings backwards and is bended. His right arm stretches up and he looks towards this hand, creating a diagonal movement troughout the body.The youthful but elongated body has been given an acrobatic turning movement emphasised by the riased arm, with the whole balanced and pivoting on the vertical axis of the weight bearing leg. The figure is remarkable in being harmonious from every point of view.The artist has taken the classical attributes of Mercury – Petasus (the winged head), caduceus (the staff in his left hand, partially broken off) and winged sandals – and combined them with the nude figure of a running man to create a masterpiece of Late Renaissance Mannerism. Originally thought to be a reduced copy of the large bronze by Giambologna in Florence of which many copies from all periods exist, this bronze is in fact derrived from a small bronze Mercury made by Giambologna for Emperor Maximilian II in 1565, now in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. the Torrie bronze appears to be an excellent and rare Florentine cast of the 17th century, produced by one of Giambologna's successors in his workshop. The bronze is slightly smaller than the three documented autograph versions of this model in Vienna, Naples and Dresden. Mercury is best known as the messenger god who carried messages or who did errands for the other gods, but the ancient Greeks also regarded him as the god of commerce and trading - not to mention the god of thieves, as well. At various points and times he was further revered as the god of travelers, travelling in general, shepherds, cunning, and athletics. Mercury is shown here in flight - in other words, Giambologna was abandoning the laws of statics that governed sculpture to move into a type of image previously the preserve of painting and painting-like reliefs. As the messenger of the gods and executor of Jupiter's instructions, Mercury points with his raised right hand to the source of all wisdom.