Jan Zachariasz Frey
Hebe, c.1800
Purchased in 1895

material: oil on canvas

dimensions: 71,5 x 58,5 cm

description: The mythical Hebe, the daughter of Zeus and Hera who participated in the feasts held on Mount Olympus as the cupbearer of the gods, serving nectar that granted them eternal youth, was depicted on ancient vases, coins and reliefs holding a jug or giving drink to Zeus. The Parisian edition of Pausanias’s Description of Greece from 1731 popularized the myth about Hebe in France (and, in fact, all over Europe). Jean-Marc Nattier, a French artist, painted the portrait Anne-Josèphe Bonnier de la Mosson, the Duchess of Chaulnes, as Hebe showing the duchess sitting on the clouds with a jug and a goblet and being approached by an eagle. The boldest sitters portrayed as Hebe uncovered one of their breasts. This motif appeared in many 18th century female portraits. In Poland, the myth did not become popular until around 1800. Foreign artists operating in the country, like Jan Zachariasz Frey, an Austrian who arrived at the Czartoryski court in Puławy after completing studies in Vienna and London, knew the iconography of Hebe, which enjoyed popularity in the West, and liked flattering women of the high society by portraying them as the ancient goddess of youth. Barbara Ciciora

exposition: The Gallery of 19th Century Polish Art in Sukiennice,
The Cloth Hall, 1, Main Market Square

key: Enlightenment >>>

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design & concept: creator.pl