Ernst Barlach:
Sculpture "Reading Monastery Student" (1930), reduction in bronze
Ernst Barlach:
Sculpture "Reading Monastery Student" (1930), reduction in bronze

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ars mundi Exclusive Edition | limited, 980 copies | numbered | signature | foundry hallmark | certificate | bronze | chased | polished | patinated | reduction | size 24 x 15,5 x 9 cm (h/w/d) | weight approx. 4 kg

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Sculpture "Reading Monastery Student" (1930), reduction in bronze
Ernst Barlach: Sculpture "Reading Monastery Student" (193...


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Sculpture "Reading Monastery Student" (1930), reduction in bronze

"Ernst Barlach executed a quarter of his sculptural work with wood. In 1909 he said: 'Gothic wood sculptures are just revelations for me'. In 1930, Barlach carved his almost life-size 'Monastery Student Reading', 114.8 cm high, from oak wood. The figure, which today belongs to the St. Gertrude's Chapel in Güstrow, is part of a series of works featuring reading monks.

The majestic block of this figure can now also be admired as an ars mundi Exclusive Edition in a small bronze sculpture.

From his trip to Russia in particular, Barlach brought back two basic impressions that are essential to all of his work. The first is the human being, who is fatefully connected to the earth and thus can be considered as a plant of the earth. And then there is the wandering, searching human being, the one who is introverted and listens. With his sculpture, Barlach depicts this transformation from the heaviness of the earth into the spiritual.

It is the possible transformation of every human being, the basic tenor of his impressive work 'Monastery Student Reading'. Here, a young man who receives the best possible training in a monastery school sits with his eyes almost closed because he can only find the answers on the path to the search for meaning within himself. The word he has read has not passed him by. It has drawn itself to him, has entered his body and face as the very meaning of his existence, as that which is solid, that which is unbreakable. The reading monastery student has understood the word of truth in a world-second, the question that will possibly determine his whole life: "Who are you?" (Dr Friedhelm Häring, retired museum director and curator)

Fine bronze sculpture, cast using the Lost-Wax-Process and chiselled, polished and patinated by hand. Cast from the original and reduced in size (reduction). Limited edition of 980 copies, individually numbered and with the signature "E. Barlach" taken from the original as well as the foundry hallmark. With numbered certificate of authenticity and limitation. Size 24 x 15,5 x 9 cm (h/w/d). Weight approx. 4 kg. ars mundi Exclusive Edition.

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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.