JOHANNES BENK (Vienna, 1844 - 1914).
"Venus and Cupid".
Presents stamp and signature of the artist.
Size: 54 x 29 x 21 cm (x2).
Sculptural group formed by two Venus, accompanied by Cupid. The works are characterised by the great delicacy that can be appreciated both in the complacency of the subject matter and in the workmanship of the pieces, which are based on a great influence of the aesthetics of classical antiquity and how this was understood in the 19th century.
The signature of Johannes Benk, the renowned Austrian sculptor and son of János Benk (1814-1895), also a decorative sculptor, can be seen. After completing his primary education, he studied with the sculptor Franz Bauer, then moved to Dresden, where he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts with Ernst Julius Hähnel. He took part in several competitions for monumental sculpture, gaining notoriety with his designs for statues of Wilhelm von Tegetthoff, Beethoven and Empress Maria Theresa, although none of these designs were realised. In 1862, the Academy awarded him its Gundel Prize for excellence. A scholarship enabled him to study in Rome and Florence from 1870 to 1871. On his return, he opened a studio in his father's house and soon became popular and attracted a notable patron, Baron Karl von Hasenauer. His main works include a group of allegorical statues, depicting Austria. From 1872, he was a member of the Künstlerhaus in Vienna and, from 1887, a member of the "Pensionsgesellschaft bildender Künstler", a charitable organisation for needy sculptors. In 1887 he was made a Knight of the Order of Franz Joseph and the following year he was awarded the Order of the Iron Crown, third class.