Art Nouveau bronze figure of Psyche

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Art Nouveau bronze figure of Psyche


Antiques Reference 2167

Art Nouveau bronze figure of Psyche


A beautiful Art Nouveau patinated bronze figure of Psyche. The figure shows a seated female nude (Psyche) holding a bronze butterfly (Cupid) on her hand. Sculpted by Arnold Katsch German 1861-1928. The piece is signed in the bronze and dated 1901. It also has a foundry mark for H Noack foundry, Berlin.


Psyche was the goddess of the soul and the wife of Cupid god of love. She was once a mortal princess whose extraordinary beauty earned the ire of Venus when men began turning their worship away from the goddess towards the girl. Aphrodite commanded Cupid make Psyche fall in love with the most hideous of men but the god instead fell in love and carried her off to his hidden palace. Cupid hid his true identity and told Psyche she must never gaze upon his face. He came to visit her in the form of a Butterfly. Her jealous sisters, however, tricked her into disobeying and Cupid forsook her. Psyche searched the world for her lost love and eventually came into the service of Aphrodite. The goddess commanded her perform a series of seemingly impossible tasks which culminated in a journey to the Underworld. Psyche was afterwards reunited with Cupid and the couple were married in a ceremony attended by all the gods.

Art Nouveau was an artistic movement which peaked in popularity between 1890 and 1905 which was practiced in the fields of art, architecture and applied art. It is a French term meaning “new art” and is characterized by organic and plant motifs as well as other highly stylized forms. The organic forms often took the form of gentle sweeping curves. Its short success was a reaction against the late 19th century academic art and was replaced by the development of 20th century modernist styles.

Date c 1901

Condition Excellent original condition.

Dimensions Approximate height including base 36cm width 32cm and depth 22 cm

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