Joseph Charles Marin

Joseph Charles Marin - Hebe, the goddess of youth

Hebe, goddess of youth

Joseph Charles Marin was born in Paris in 1749. He was a pupil of Claude Michel – also known as Clodion. Marin made several attempts to win the Grand Prix de Sculpture, before winning the Grand Prix de Rome in 1801 with a relief depicting Caïus Gracchus leaving his wife Licinia (now in the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris).

Stylistically, Marin was strongly influenced by Clodion, whose elegant, gracious and light manner he adopted, especially in the first part of his career. Later on, in accordance with the canon of neoclassicism, he adopted a more austere style and subject matter. Upon the death of his former teacher Joseph Chinard in 1813, Marin became a professor at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Lyon.

The present work, depicting a young and graceful woman pouring wine into a tazza, clearly hails from the early part of Marin’s career, when he was still heavily influenced by Clodion. It is probably a depiction of Hebe, the Greek goddess of youth and cupbearer for the Olympic gods. She was the daughter of Zeus and Hera and eventually married Hercules. Marin is known to have sculpted several of these small-scale mythological figures, which attests to their popularity. 

Artist: Joseph Charles Marin (Paris 1749 - 1834)
Medium: terracotta
Dimensions: height 33 cm