Ernst Barlach:
Sculpture "Kissing Group I" (1921), bronze
Ernst Barlach:
Sculpture "Kissing Group I" (1921), bronze

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ars mundi Exclusive Edition | museum replica | limited, 980 copies | numbered | signature | foundry hallmark | certificate | bronze | patinated | size 19.5 x 19 x 10 cm (h/w/d) | weight 3.2 kg

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Sculpture "Kissing Group I" (1921), bronze
Ernst Barlach: Sculpture "Kissing Group I" (1921), bronze


Detailed description

Sculpture "Kissing Group I" (1921), bronze

The Mysticism of Love: Ernst Barlach's "Kissing Group I". ars mundi Exclusive Edition, published in cooperation with the Kunsthalle Bremen.

The works of Ernst Barlach (1870-1938) are characterised by deep humanity. His depictions of simple people avoid the idealisation of the exterior and at the same time insist on a human ideal that is diametrically opposed to the historical course of the artist's life. His praying, music-making, searching figures appear as if they are infused with a spiritual force that makes them part of an overarching, mystical whole.

That is also the case with Barlach's Kiss, which was certainly created in 1921 in confrontation with Auguste Rodin's work of the same name. Unlike Rodin's work, the sculptural group does not emphasise the element of Eros but rather depicts the lovers with an affection that goes far beyond that. The intimacy between them seems to be characterised by a long shared experience of life and unbreakable trust. In its monolithic structure, the work already shows a "unity" of the couple, which reveals love not as a fleeting erotic phenomenon but as an almost mystical basic human experience - not Venus and Adonis, but Philemon and Baucis were the inspiration.

Sculpture "Kissing Group I": Original: Lacquered plaster.
Sculpture in fine bronze, cast using the Lost-Wax-Process, chiselled, polished and patinated by hand. Directly cast from the original. Limited edition of 980 copies, individually numbered and with the signature "E. Barlach" taken from the original as well as the foundry hallmark. Published in cooperation with the Kunsthalle Bremen. With numbered certificate of authenticity and limitation. Size 19,5 x 19 x 10 cm (h/w/d). Weight 3,2 kg. ars mundi Exclusive Edition.

"Some of the most famous works of modern art are dedicated to kisses - Gustav Klimt's and Auguste Rodin's depictions are the most prominent examples. Ernst Barlach also devoted himself to this theme. At the centre of his work are the human being and the entire range of his emotions. The Bremen Kissing Group presents an unusually intimate view of a couple showing affection, which is enhanced by the size and medium." (Prof. Dr Christoph Grunenberg, Director of the Kunsthalle Bremen)

Portrait of the artist Ernst Barlach

About Ernst Barlach

1870-1938, sculptor, writer and draughtsman

Ernst Barlach was born on January 2, 1870, in Wedel, Germany, and died on October 24, 1938, in Rostock, Germany. He holds an outstandingly special position within German Expressionism. As a graphic artist, draughtsman, writer and, in particular, a sculptor, Barlach created milestones in art history. Barlach's sculptural works of art have a special effect because they seek extreme experience of limits and their representation. They are works of multi-layered meaning with which he foregrounded the essence of the human being and that what stands above the self and the world.

Barlach's intention is rooted in the depths, the inner self. Shaped by war and challenging living conditions, he experiences both suffering and happiness. The human being is always the focus of his work: Ecce homo.

"I desire nothing more than to be a good and true artist as best I can. I believe that what cannot be expressed through the work can pass into the possession of another through forms. My pleasure and creative impulse continually revolve around the problems of the meaning of life and the other great mountains in the spiritual realm." (Ernst Barlach)

Ernst Barlach became an honorary member of the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich, in 1925. In 1933, he was appointed Knight of the Peace Class of the Order "Pour le mérite". In 1937, the National Socialists removed his works from public collections and spaces for being "degenerate art". Ernst Barlach died in Rostock on October 24, 1938.

Today, Ernst Barlach's works are an integral part of leading museums and collections and - if available - fetch record amounts at auction.

"The Singing Man" became Ernst Barlach's best-known sculpture, an icon of Modernism. It adorns illustrated books and posters worldwide, and the original edition is a permanent part of the collections of the world's major museums, including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.