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Ernst Barlach

The Singing Man

Artist

Ernst Barlach
Wedel, Germany, 1870 – Rostock, Germany, 1938

Title

The Singing Man

Date

1928 (cast after 1938)

Materials

Bronze

Dimensions

49.5 x 56.5 x 35.5 cm

Founder

Cast Hermann Noack, Berlin

Credits

Purchase, Horsley and Annie Townsend Bequest, inv. 1966.1528

Collection

Western Art

Ernst Barlach, one of Germany’s foremost modern sculptors, drew inspiration from the expressive power and simplicity of medieval sculpture. Eyes closed, the singing man here concentrates on his performance with ecstatic fervour and an expression of total abandon. The artist was deeply affected by his experiences at the front during World War I and later lived in isolation in Güstrow, despite his success as an artist. His Expressionist works had been among those targeted by the Nazis, who considered them “degenerate”: a number of Barlach’s war memorials were actually destroyed.

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