The son of an ornamental sculptor from Besançon, Louis-Julien Franceschi, known as Jules (d. 1893), studied under François Rude and made his debut at the Salon in 1848. He continued to exhibit regularly until the end of the 1880s.
Hebe, cupbearer of the gods, and herself a goddess symbolising youthful beauty, was a favoured subject among 19th century sculptors, many of whom chose to ignore her traditional attribute of chastity and portrayed her as something of a temptress, tantalizing the disguised Jupiter with a cup of ambrosia and with her body. The success of Rude's rendition of the theme at the Salon a decade earlier may have inspired his pupil to take up the same subject, and Franceschi's resulting plaster version of Hebe was exhibited in 1866, with the bronze being shown two years later. Whereas his master had depicted an adolescent figure standing next to the eagle, Franceschi's Hebe is a more mature female nude, seated on the wings of the bird, allowing for a greater contrast between the smooth surface of her flesh against the textured plumage and sharp beak of the eagle.