This life-sized terracotta sculpture of the classical Greek figure, Hebe, is a truly beautiful piece. Daughter of Zeus and Hera, Hebe was the goddess of youth, and cupbearer to the Olympian gods. Hebe is represented as a beautiful young woman in a loose gown, with an embroidered and tasselled belt. She holds a vase in her left hand, and her right is wrapped around a large leafy branch. Hebe stands on a tall columnar plinth, decorated with acanthus leaves, a lion’s head, fruit swag, and bead-and-reel moulding.
The sculpture is signed by the designer, ‘G. Kuhse 1881’ and manufacturer, ‘E. March Söhne Berlin’. Gottwalt Kuhse was a gifted sculptor, who flourished in Germany in the decades 1870-90. He was trained under the acclaimed Albert Wolff, and regularly exhibited the Academy of Arts (Akademie der Künste) in Berlin. The first model of this sculpture was called ‘Shakuntala’ (after the heroine of a love story in the Mahabharata, a Hindu epic), and was very well received at the Berlin Academy, when it was exhibited there in 1883. Versions of this sculpture—most of which were renamed Hebe—were manufactured by Ernst March’s ceramic factory, based in the Charlottenburg district in Berlin. The company specialised in the creation of majolica (tin-glazed earthenware) and terracotta items, producing work of the highest quality for important buyers.
Figure- Height 165cm, width 72cm, depth 57cm
Plinth- Height 91cm, diameter 62cm
Total- Height 256cm