A patinated bronze figure of a skeleton after a model by Carl Kauba (Austrian-American, 1865-1922) late 19th/early 20th century
Depicted as holding a skull and standing on a volume inscribed "Hippocrates" in Greek letters, inscribed on the reverse of the hip bone C. Kauba, rasied on a dark green marble base. total height 17in (43cm)
Carl Kauba is best known for his representations of cowboys and Native Americans from the American West. Born in Austria, it is unclear whether he actually ever traveled to the Western North America, but his work was almost entirely concerned with this theme, and his bronzes were widely distributed in the American market at the turn of the 20th century. At the same time, however, Kauba was producing bronzes for the Austrian market, and the present model is surely one of these. Standing on a volume inscribed with the name of Hippocrates, the skeleton strikes a pose recalling the famous scene from Hamlet, and takes the traditional vanitas one step further: Death reflecting upon itself.
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