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Currently shown
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

Barlach, one of Germany’s foremost modern sculptors, drew inspiration from the expressive power and simplicity of medieval sculpture. Deeply affected by his experiences at the front during World War I, he became a committed pacifist. Though much honoured, he lived in isolation before being ostracized by the Nazis. They saw his expressionist works as “degenerate,” and a number of his war memorials were actually destroyed. The writer Bertholt Brecht was struck by the realism and humanity of this famous sculpture. Eyes closed, the singer concentrates on his performance with ecstatic fervour and an expression of total abandon.

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