Uphues studied at the Berlin Acadamy and sculpted many monuments in Berlin and other German cities. His smaller scale work includes genre and classical figures. He won a silver medal at the Exposition Universelle of 1900.
The Stymphalian birds are birds of prey that infest the lake Stymphalus in Greece. They have claws and beaks of iron. Their feathers are like deadly arrows of poison targeted at all living. Their prey is then paralyzed, captured and eaten alive. Hercules is to kill these birds. The birds hide well and are almost impossible to find. Hercules calls for the help of the goddess Athena. She takes a liking to young Hercules and sends him a sacred rattle of copper. The sound chases the birds away from their hideout and then Hercules is able to kill them with his bow and arrow.
Another cast by the same foundry was sold in The Forbes Collection of Victorian Pictures and Works of Art at Christie's, King Street on 19 February 2003 as lot 279.