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Sale: 409 / Modern Art and Sidelines of the German Avantgarde, Dec. 06. 2013 in Munich Lot 366

Lot description
Junges Weib. 1937/38.
Bronze mit brauner Patina.
Auf der Plinthe mit dem ligierten Monogramm. Rückseitig an der Standfläche mit dem Gießerstempel "H. Noack Berlin Friedenau". 94 x 25,5 x 20,5 cm (37 x 10 x 8 in).
The figure of the "Junges Weib" was developed by Georg Kolbe for the "Ring der Statuen", a group of statues on which the artist worked up until his death, it was eventually completed posthumously in the Frankfurt Rothschildpark in 1954 as a large sculpture. Since Kolbe ordered the foundry Noack to increase the work to 220 cm on 18 January 1938, it is very likely that he had already begun with the small version of the "Junges Weib" in 1937. Kolbe called the work "Frauenfolge I", so it was the first figure for the "Ring der Statuen", which was originally suppossed to comprise female figures only. According to an invoice from the foundry for February 1938, which is in possession of the Georg-Kolbe-Archive, a "Entwurf" (draft) had been executed. Everything speaks for this work being the work mentioned, accordingly, it is the only known cast of the "Junges Weib" made during the artist's lifetime.

Accompanied by an expertise issued by Dr. Ursel Berger, Berlin, dated 2 October, 2013 (in copy). We are grateful to her kind support in cataloging this lot.

PROVENANCE: Private collection Northern Germany.

LITERATURE: (for "Ring der Statuen" cf.)
Georg Kolbe. 42 Bildtafeln mit einem Geleitwort von Richard Scheibe. Schwarz-Bildbücherei. Großschlattengrün/Opf. No date (presumbaly 1952), no page, fullpage image.

Georg Kolbe, one of the most successful sculptors of his time, first studied painting in Dresden and Munich. The sculpture of Rodin, which he studied closely during a sojourn of half a year in Paris in 1897, and Louis Tuaillon awakened Kolbe's interest in sculpture. When Kolbe moved to Rome in 1898, Tuaillon, the most important Neo-Classicist sculptor played an important role. Kolbe's first portrait sculptures were made under Tuaillon's guidance. After six years during which he also travelled in Italy, France, Belgium and Holland, Kolbe decided to return to Germany and moved to Berlin. He continued collecting new ideas and impressions during frequent trips abroad. In 1913 the sculptor left the 'Berliner Sezession' which he had joined in 1905 to join the 'Freie Sezession'. At the outbreak of the war in 1914 he was sent to East Prussia and Poland as a volunteer. He remained in military service until 1918 when he was sent to the Black Forest as an infantryman. In the same year the Prussian Ministry of Cultural Affairs appointed him professor. Kolbe's early sculptures, simple, harmonious nudes influenced by Rodin, but also by Maillol, seek a harmony between the body and the soul. During the 1930s he turned towards a more heroic monumentality. In 1936 the 'Reichskulturkammer' accepted the 'Deutscher Künstlerbund', of which Kolbe was the chairman, as a member.

Towards the end of the war the artist's house and studio were damaged so that he moved to Hiershagen in Silesia until the beginning of 1945. After his return to Berlin he underwent several eye operations, which were unsuccessful, however. In addition to this his cancer reoccurred and Kolbe died on 20 November 1947. Apart from his numerous portraits Kolbe , who was one of the first autonomous sculptors and thus no longer determined by his sponsors, concentrated on nude sculptures which influenced the following generation of sculptors. [KD/JS].

Georg Kolbe
Junges Weib, 1937.
€ 60,000 / $ 67,800
€ 140,300 / $ 158.538

(incl. 22% surcharge)

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