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    Sale 12029

    The Opulent Eye - 19th Century Furniture, Sculpture, Works of Art, Ceramics & Carpets

    7 June 2016, London, King Street

  • Lot 156

    JEAN COULON (FRENCH, 1853-1923)

    Hébé coelestis (Heavenly Hebe)

    Price Realised  


    JEAN COULON (FRENCH, 1853-1923)
    Hébé coelestis (Heavenly Hebe)
    signed 'Coulon'
    41 ¼ in. (104.5 cm.) high
    Circa 1890.

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    Trained in Paris by celebrated sculptor Pierre-Jules Cavelier (1814-1896), Jean Coulon exhibited regularly at the Salons from the last quarter of the 19th century. The present marble is a reduction of a marble Coulon showed at the Salon of 1886 for which he received a second class medal and which is today in the Musée des Beaux-arts in Nice. Citing a contemporary critic, June Hargrove establishes a strong connection between Coulon’s marble and Albert-Ernest Carrier Belleuse’s (1824-1887) representation of Hébé endormie shown nearly twenty years before at the Salon of 1869 (J. Hargrove, The Life and Work of Albert Carrier-Belleuse, New York, 1977, p. 56-57, pls. 17-18). Indeed, in many ways, Carrier-Belleuse’s marble with a sleeping Hebe enveloped in the wings of a towering eagle anticipates his younger confrère’s sensual sculpture in which the cupbearer to the gods is also supported by a powerful eagle and dutifully extending a goblet of nectar to the Olympians. Though there do not appear to be abundant editions, Coulon’s bé coelestis was edited in marble in the present size and at roughly half its height (24 in.); a bronze edition is also known in this smaller size.