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Italian 19th Century Life Size Marble Group "Hebe and Eagle" by Aristide Fontana

$127,500

About

A very fine Italian 19th century Carrara marble life-size marble sculpture of "Hebe and The Eagle"; depicting a young maiden seated on a rocky outcrop holding an urn over her shoulder and serving water from a bowl to a thirsty eagle, raised on a circular base by Aristide Fontana (Italian 19th Century - Active 1870-1890), Carrara, Inscribed to the reverse; "Aristide Fontana Sc./Carrara", circa 1870-1880. Hebe, the Greek goddess of youth, was the daughter of Zeus and Hera and was the hand-maiden and cup bearer of the gods and the symbol of youthful beauty and chastity. She is often depicted as a temptress tantalizing the eagle of Jupiter with a cup of ambrosia and her body. In her role as cup-bearer she offered nectar and ambrosia and here she holds the cup before the eagle, Zeus' messenger. This sculpture subject matter resembles Bertel Thorwaldsen's, marble sculpture of Ganymede and the Eagle, circa 1817 and currently at the Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, VA. The most notable difference between both sculptures is that, unlike in Thorwaldsen's work, this sculpture depicts a figure of a young semi-nude maiden bearing a pearl necklace centered with a charm engraved with the letter "S". This sculpture subject matter can also be attributed to Psyche, perched on a Stygian rock and threatened by dragons, is rescued from her task by Jupiter's eagle, who brings her a lekythos filled with the river's water. Although Apuleius' story of Cupid and Psyche had been a common theme in European art since the Renaissance, the particular incident of Psyche rescued by Jupiter's eagle was seldom illustrated. Comparable to themes in mythology, Old Testament figures and heroines in particular were popular subjects of artworks in the mid-19th century. Several scenes from the Biblical (Gen. 24) story of Rebecca's meeting with Eliezer, and subsequent marriage to Isaac, were depicted in the 19th century. The most frequent representation shows Rebecca at the well with a pitcher. Other examples of the subject include those by the Italians Cesare Lapini, Giovanni Battista Lombardi and Domenico Menconi and American sculptors Brown, Mozier, and Chauncey Bradley Ives. Ives's example, modeled in Rome in 1854, in fact became his most commercially successful work. Comparable to themes in mythology, Old Testament figures and heroines in particular were popular subjects of artworks in the mid-19th century. Several scenes from the Biblical (Gen. 24) story of Rebecca's meeting with Eliezer, and subsequent marriage to Isaac, were depicted in the 19th century. The most frequent representation shows Rebecca at the well with a pitcher. Other examples of the subject include those by the Italians Cesare Lapini, Giovanni Battista Lombardi and Domenico Menconi and American sculptors Brown, Mozier, and Chauncey Bradley Ives. Ives's example, modeled in Rome in 1854, in fact became his most commercially successful work. A set of four maidens (45 inches high) emblematic of the Seasons, by Aristide Fontana, from the Estate of Frank Johnson Hightower and purchased from French & Co. New York, through Mortimer Adler in 1949-50, were sold at Christie's New York in Rockefeller Plaza on 24 April 2001, Sale 9684, lot 311 ($270,000). Height: 66 inches (167.7 cm). Width: 38 inches (96.5 cm). Depth: 31 1/2 inches (80 cm). Diameter of circular base: 28 inches (71.1 cm).

Details

  • Creator
    Aristide Fontana 1 (Sculptor)
  • Dimensions
    Height: 66 in. (167.64 cm)Width: 38 in. (96.52 cm)Depth: 31.5 in. (80.01 cm)
  • Style
    Neoclassical (In the Style Of)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    circa 1870-1880
  • Condition
    Wear consistent with age and use. Minor losses. Minor fading. Overall current condition is very good, some weathering and professional restorations on Hebe's left fingers, toes and other minor on eagle's tail. The circular base has some minor old chippings at bottom. Some weathering.
  • Seller Location
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Reference Number
    Seller: Ref.: A13851stDibs: LU179626513753

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity.
    Ships From: Los Angeles, CA
  • Return Policy

    This item cannot be returned.

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