Skip to contentSkip to navigation
Become a Member
Explore today's schedule
Visit MMFA for free by becoming a Member
Learn more
Ernst Barlach

The Singing Man


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


The Singing Man


1928 (cast after 1938)




49.5 x 56.5 x 35.5 cm


Cast Hermann Noack, Berlin


Purchase, Horsley and Annie Townsend Bequest, inv. 1966.1528


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.

Add a touch of culture to your inbox
Subscribe to the Museum newsletter

Bourgie Hall Newsletter sign up

This website uses cookies in order to optimize your browsing experience and for promotional purposes. To learn more, please see our policy on the protection of personal Iinformation