North American Auction Company
Timed Auction

Last Chance July Passed Lots Auction - Ends AUG 4th

Mon, Jul 31, 2023 02:00AM EDT - Fri, Aug 4, 2023 03:00PM EDT
Lot 72

E. Epple (1877-1948) Bronze Sculpture Of Mercury

Estimate: $8,000 - $12,000

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$50 $10
$100 $25
$500 $50
$1,000 $100
$2,000 $250
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$25,000 $2,500
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000
Featured in this lot is this life-sized bronze sculpture of the Greek god Mercury, done by German sculptor Emil Julius Epple (1877-1948) circa 1920s. German artist Emil Julius Epple sculpted primarily in southern Germany and Italy. He relocated to the Netherlands in 1937, after which he obtained Dutch citizenship. Epple attended the neighborhood gymnasium before enrolling at the Stuttgarter Kunstschule. He spent a few years there studying under professor Adolf von Donndorf before relocating to Munich to enroll in classes taught by professor Wilhelm von Rümann at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste beginning in April 1896. Epple looked for inspiration in London after spending a brief amount of time in Stuttgart and Berlin. He carefully examined the Elgin Marbles in the British Museum, a collection of Classical Greek marble sculptures created under the direction of architect and sculptor Phidias. Epple arrived in Rome in 1899 and lived there until 1907. He repaired and restored Classical Roman and Greek artifacts to support himself. Epple's sense of art and preference for Classical works were firmly shaped by Rome's natural surroundings as well as the numerous Classical art treasures. He would create a very distinctive aesthetic that many art critics and admirers would quickly identify and value. Epple held his first exhibition in Munich in 1900. After nearly ten years of living and working in Rome, Epple relocated to Munich. He was asked to create six larger-than-life-size herms for the Royal Stuttgart Hoftheater in the Bavarian capital, representing Wagner, Shakespeare, Goethe, Schiller, Mozart, and Beethoven. He also produced many portraits, memorials, and reliefs during this time, frequently collaborating closely with other artists and architects like Albert Eitel and Eugen Steigleder to transform the Villa Gemmingen in Stuttgart into a singular "Gesamtkunstwerk" that is still praised today. Many of his pieces were commissioned by businessmen, bankers, or professionals in private as well as by public organizations like the Landespolizei (Bavarian Police), for whom he created a striking statue honoring its fallen officers. Epple passed away at the age of 71 in The Hague, Netherlands. The sculpture shows a life sized man posing with his right arm up in the sky in an arch and his right foot kicked back. He holds his position with his left foot and keeps his left hand near his side. The man has curly hair and is wearing a hat with a large feather coming out of the top. The base of the statue shows the artist's signature reading, "E. Epple". The statue shows good condition overall with some slight wear from its age but no obvious signs of damage are present. The statue measures a base diameter of 19", and approximate width of 18" and an approximate height of 83".

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