Sale: 550 / Evening Sale, June 07. 2024 in Munich Lot 124000229

Renée Sintenis
Große Daphne, 1930.
Bronze with black-brown patina
€ 200,000 - 300,000

$ 214,000 - 321,000

Information on buyer's premium, taxation and resale right compensation will be available four weeks before the auction.
Große Daphne. 1930.
Bronze with black-brown patina.
With the name and the foundry mark "H. NOACK BERLIN-FRIEDENAU". Early lifetime cast. According to Buhlmann (1987) a total of at least 10 casts are known, 5 of which are museum-owned. Height: 143.7 cm (56.5 in). Granite base: 8 x 25 x 30 cm (3,2 x 9,9 x 11,8 in).
Lifetime cast made by the art foundry Hermann Noack, Berlin-Friedenau. [JS].
• Sintenis was one of the most important female German sculptors and a key figuresin the Berlin art scene of the 1920s.
• In "Daphne", Sintenis realized the most beautiful expression of female grace and created a symbol of modern femininity.
• Alongside the iconic Berlin Bear, this is the her largest bronze.
• Lifetime cast. To date, only two copies with the foundry mark "H. Noack Berlin-Friedenau" have been offered on the international auction market (source:
• Another copy is at the Museum of Modern Art, New York

PROVENANCE: Private collection Baden-Württemberg (acquired from the artist, presumably in the 1930s).
Ever since family-owned.

EXHIBITION: (selection for all casts)
Renée Sintenis, Marie Laurencin, Martel Schwichtenberg, Alexandra Exter, Galerie Flechtheim Berlin, December 1930, cat. no. 8 (illu.).
Künstlerinnen, Galerie Flechtheim, Berlin 1931.
German art of the twentieth century, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1957, cat. no. 172.
Symbol und Mythos in der zeitgenössischen Kunst, Akademie der Künste, Berlin, April 21 - May 19, 1963, no. 82 (the present cast).
25 Jahre Sammlung Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin, April 30 - June 19, 2005 (the present cast).
Dialog Skulptur, Kulturspeicher, Würzburg, May 20 - August 20m 2006 (the present cast).
Daphne. Mythos und Metamorphose, Gerhard-Marcks-Haus, Bremen, November 22, 2009 - February 21, 2010.

LITERATURE: (selection for all casts)
Ursel Berger, Günter Ladwig, Renée Sintenis. Das plastische Werk, Berlin 2013, no. 117 (illu.).
Britta E. Buhlmann, Renée Sintenis. Werkmonographie der Skulpturen, Darmstadt 1987, no. 68 (illu.).
Hanna Kiel, Renée Sintenis, Berlin 1935, illu. on pp. 4, 68 and 69, and Berlin 1956, illu. on pp. 44 and 45.
Alfred Barr, Painting and Sculpture in the Museum of Modern Art, New York 1948, illu. on pp. 248 and 321, and Painting and Sculpture in the Museum of Modern Art 1929-1967, New York 1977, illu. on pp. 202 and 589.
Hildegard Westhoff-Krummacher, Die Bildwerke seit 1800 im Wallraf-Richartz-Museum und im öffentlichen Besitz der Stadt Köln, Cologne 1965, illu. on p. 243.
Zwischen Freiheit und Moderne. Die Bildhauerin Renée Sintenis, Kunstforum Ostdeutsche Galerie, Regensburg, October 12, 2019 - January 12, 2020, pp. 88-93.
Ariane Grigoteit, Ein Jahrhundert. One Century. 100 x Kunst, Frankfurt a. Main 2001, with full-page illu on pp. 66-67.
Man in the Middle, Sammlung Deutsche Bank, Frankfurt a. Main 2002, with full-page illu on p. 246.

""Her prayer was scarcely done when a heavy numbness seized her limbs, thin bark closed over her breast, her hair turned into leaves, her arms into branches, her feet so swift a moment ago stuck fast in slow-growing roots [..]""

Ovid, Metamorphoses, book 1, verse 545-551.

Sintenis - a female exception in the Berlin art world

Renée Sintenis, who became an artist against her parents' will, showed her works at the Berlin Secession as early as in1915, and was a real exception in the Berlin art world of the 1920s and 1930s. In 1931, one year after Sintenis created the "Große Daphne", she was the only female artists of her time to be appointed to the Prussian Academy of the Arts, where she taught until she was forced to leave by the Nazis in 1934. With the sculpture "Daphne" Renée Sintenis probably formed the most beautiful expression of feminine grace.

Renée Sintenis and the motif of "Daphne"
She turned to the subject of classical mythology as early as in1917/18 when she created her first, small statuette of "Daphne". The spontaneous metamorphosis of the nymph Daphne into a laurel tree as she flees the love-stricken god Apollo is a poem from Ovid's Metamorphoses. In addition to Sintenis ’creation, the famous marble statue of Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1622-1625, Rome, Villa Borghese) is certainly one of the best-known sculptural representations of this motif. While Bernini's statue shows Apollo and Daphne, Sintenis solely focused on Daphne and the moment of her beginning transformation. The unstoppable imminent transformation is only hinted at with the leaves growing out of her ankles, hair and armpits. Sintenis' concentration is more on the fragile physicality, which anticipates the metamorphosis in the extreme elongation of the limbs.

The “Große Daphne“ as a symbol of the modern woman
It is exactly the strong emancipatory moment inherent in this famous episode from ancient mythology, in which the ambivalence of lived femininity and the concurrent emancipatory withdrawal of it is taken to extremes, thatSintenis must have felt so strongly about. With her androgynous appearance, her tall, slim figure and short hair, as well as her emancipated way of life, she embodied the type of the new, self-confident woman of the "Roaring Twenties" in an excellent way. It is thus little surprising that after the sudden death of her husband Emil Rudolph Weiß in 1945, Sintenis dared to take the extraordinarily courageous step of moving in with her partner Magdalena Goldmann. In her "Große Daphne" Sintenis used a traditional mythological motif, however, through rendering the process of Daphne’s transformation she created an extremely graceful symbol of the modern woman, expressing the dawn of a modern, self-determined life. [JS]

Renée Sintenis
Große Daphne, 1930.
Bronze with black-brown patina
€ 200,000 - 300,000

$ 214,000 - 321,000

Information on buyer's premium, taxation and resale right compensation will be available four weeks before the auction.