Greek Goddess Hebe

The Greek Goddess Hebe was the goddess of youth. She was the daughter of Zeus and Hera, which means she was the sister of Ares and Eileithyia. (That's what the sources say: but, if she was Hera's daughter, then she was Hephaistos' sister too).

She was the cup-bearer of the gods; her job was to pour the divine nectar and ambrosia at the gods' banquets (ambrosia was the magical drink that gave gods eternal youth). Later, she was replaced by Ganymede (some father, Zeus: he would fire his own daughter in order to give the job to his lover).

She would also prepare Hera's chariot. When her brother Ares came back from war, she would prepare his bath. When the gods had a feast, she would sing and dance, together with the Muses and the Graces.

When Hercules died, his father, Zeus, took him to the Olympus and transformed him into a god. Hera finally made peace with the hero and, after his apotheosis, gave him her daughter, goddess Hebe, as a wife. As a result of this marriage, Hercules was restored to eternal youth.

Hebe, the goddess of youth, was also a goddess of forgiveness. The slaves who were freed would hang their chains on her statue.

This one is a famous statue of Hebe, by the Italian sculptor Antonio Canova.

Hebe
Hebe
Canova, Antonio
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And a classical statue from the Parthenon:

Demeter, Persephone, and Hebe - East Ped, Parthenon
Demeter, Persephone, and Hebe - East Ped, Parthenon
Unknown
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Hebe, Illustration from 'History of Greece' by Victor Duruy, Published 1890
Hebe,...
American
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Head of Hebe, Study for the 'Apotheosis of Hercules'
Head of Hebe,...
Francois Lemoyne
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A beautiful painting representing Hebe, with Zeus as an eagle behind her:

Hebe, 1784
Hebe, 1784

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Ramos Y Albertos,...
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And another engraving on the goddess among the clouds, with the cup of nectar in her hand:

Daughter of Zeus and Hera Hebe was the Greek Goddess of Youth
Daughter of Zeus and Hera Hebe was the Greek Goddess of Youth

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As you remember, the noblewomen wanted to be represented as goddesses, so why not as the goddess of youth?

Charlotte-Aglaé d'Orléans, duchesse de Modène (1700-1761) - en Hébé
Charlotte-Aglaé...
Gobert, Pierre
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But then, why wouldn't Napoleon himself want to be represented as Heracles, who marries Hebe, in his case Marie-Louise of Austria.

Noces d'Hébé et d'Hercule. Allégorie relative au mariage de Napoléon et de Marie-Louise.
Noces d'Hébé et...
Pierre Paul...
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Mars et Hébé
Mars et Hébé
Monnet, Charles
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