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Sale: 400 / Modern Art, Dec. 08. 2012  
Lot: 91  
Barlach, Ernst 
Die Erwartende II, Figur aus dem "Fries der Lauschenden", 1934. 
Result (incl. 22% surcharge): 92,720 EUR / 115,900 $
Estimate: 70,000 EUR / 87,500 $  
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Ernst Barlach


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Ernst Barlach - Die Erwartende II, Figur aus dem "Fries der Lauschenden"  
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Lot: 91
Ernst Barlach
1870 Wedel/Holstein - 1938 Rostock
Die Erwartende II, Figur aus dem "Fries der Lauschenden". 1934/35.
Bronze with brown patina.
Laur 575. With name and number as well as foundry mark "H. Noack Berlin" in lower right of base. Rare. From an edition of 6 copies. Ca. 91,5 x 18,2 x 11,2 cm (36 x 7,1 x 4,4 in), differing from dimensions in Laur.
Cast by art foundry Hermann Noack, Berlin, after 1980. No casts of thi sbronze made during thej artist's lifetime are in existence.
First cast of this bronze on the international auction market (source: www.artnet.com).

We are grateful to Ernst Barlach, licence administration GmbH & Co. KG Ernst Barlach, Ratzeburg, for his kind support in cataloging this lot.

PROVENANCE: Ernst Barlach licence administration, Ratzeburg.
Galerie Nierendorf, Berlin
Private collection Northern Germany.

EXHIBITION: Ernst Barlach. 51 Bronzen, Frankfurter Kunstkabinett Hanna Bekker vom Rath GmbH, Frankfurt 1981, p. 52 (different copy).
Ernst Barlach. Denkzeichen, Schleswig-Holsteinisches Landesmuseum Schloß Gottorf, Schleswig 1989, cat no. 79 (different copy).
Ernst Barlach. Ein Graphiker und Bildhauer des deutschen Expressionismus, Bergen Kunstmuseum, Ernst Barlach Foundation Güstrow, Bergen/Güstrow 2000, cat no. 99 (different copy).
Ernst Barlach, Mystiker der Moderne. Ernst Barlach Gesellschaft Hamburg, Hauptkirche St. Katharinen, Hamburg 2003, p. 206 (different copy).

The Northern German sculptor and graphic artist Ernst Barlach began his professional education in Hamburg, where he joined the Gewerbeschule in 1888. He continued in 1891 at the Dresden Akademie where he continued his studies of sculpture and became Robert Diez' master pupil. Barlach's thorough academic training was supplemented by two sojourns in Paris in 1895 and 1897. His work was further influenced significantly by a trip to Russia in 1909. The powerful and folk-like style of his sculptures reflect the artists impressions of sturdy rugged farm life and Russian folk art. Barlach also produced graphic illustration cycles for his own plays during this period. The artist settled in Güstrow (Mecklenburg) in 1910. Barlach had his first exhibition at Paul Cassirer's gallery in Berlin in 1917 and was accepted as a full member of the Preußische Akademie der Künste in Berlin in 1919. In the following years Barlach made numerous woodcuts, for example the illustrations for Goethe's "Walpurgisnacht". His autobiography "Ein selbsterzähltes Leben" was published in 1928. The Preußische Akademie der Künste organised a comprehensive exhibition of his sculptures and graphic works in 1930. The artist was awarded the order Pour la Mérite in 1933. Even though Barlach was still able to complete the "Fries der Lauschenden" for Hermann F. Reemtsma and designed a grave monument for Theodor Däubler.

Drawings made as early as in 1922 are proof of the long time that Ernst Barlach was occupied with the figures for the ‘Fries der Lauschenden’. Laur’s catalog raisonné documents one work model in gypsum that was made in 1934, as well as one in wood from 1935. The figures in the frieze, calling reminiscence of medieval portal plastics, are clearly reduced to an elementary style, in order to put all expression onto the face as carrier of sensual perception. Originally made for the unrealized Beethoven monument, Barlach made the ‘Fries der Lauschenden’ an independent composition.

In the following years he was defamed by the National Socialists. His works were banned from all museums, churches and public spaces in 1936. Today Ernst Barlach is considered one of the most important sculptors of modern times. Outstanding examples of his Expressionist figures in wood and bronze can be seen in the cathedral in Güstrow, the church of St. Elisabeth Marburg and in the National Gallery in Berlin. [KD].

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