Ernst Barlach:
Sculpture "Shepherd in a Storm" (1908), reduction in bronze
Ernst Barlach:
Sculpture "Shepherd in a Storm" (1908), reduction in bronze

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ars mundi Exclusive Edition | limited, 980 copies | numbered | signature | foundry hallmark | certificate | bronze | patinated | reduction | size 27.5 x 25 x 13 cm (h/w/d) | weight 4.8 kg

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Sculpture "Shepherd in a Storm" (1908), reduction in bronze
Ernst Barlach: Sculpture "Shepherd in a Storm" (1908), re...

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Sculpture "Shepherd in a Storm" (1908), reduction in bronze

Against all odds: Ernst Barlach's "Shepherd in the Storm". ars mundi Exclusive Edition, published in cooperation with the Kunsthalle Bremen.

Ernst Barlach is one of the most important representatives of Realism and Expressionism. During his studies, he travelled to Hamburg, Dresden and Paris. After a trip to Russia that had a formative influence on him, he created his first wooden sculptures and bronze figures from 1907 onwards. He incorporated his impressions of Russian folk art into these works, which are now considered his best-known works. Among them is the figure "Shepherd in a Storm" from 1908, the original of which was executed in lime wood and was Barlach's first large wooden sculpture.

With his head lowered and his hat pulled down over his face with the right hand, the bearded shepherd fights against the wind. His left pulls the hem of his wide and billowed coat close to his body. Closely at his heels, a dog follows him, seeking shelter between the shepherd's legs and under the blowing tip of his coat. In a preliminary drawing, which is now privately owned, Barlach had already prepared the motif a year earlier. For the sculpture, a human being and an animal join together on the almost oval plinth to form a triangular composition that seems to push forward against the resistance of the wind like the bow of a ship. The softly swinging contours of the mantle enliven the closed structure of the group of figures.

Barlach already dealt with human beings and their living conditions with his early works. The sculpture "Shepherd in a Storm" is the first in a series of works by Barlach that show human beings in confrontation with external forces. He understood storm and wind as expressions of superhuman powers. The painter and patron of the arts from Bremen, Leopold Biermann, acquired the sculpture in 1908 at the 16th exhibition of the Berlin Secession and donated it to the Kunsthalle Bremen. The "Shepherd in a Storm" thus became the first work by Barlach to enter a public art collection.

Sculpture "Shepherd in a Storm": Original: Wood Catalogue raisonné Laur II 140.
Fine bronze, cast using the Lost-Wax-Process, chiselled by hand, polished and patinated. Directly moulded from the original and reduced in size (reduction). Limited edition of 980 copies, individually numbered and with the signature "E. Barlach", reproduced from the original as well as the foundry hallmark. ars mundi Exclusive Edition, published in cooperation with the Kunsthalle Bremen. With numbered certificate of authenticity and limitation. Size 27,5 x 25 x 13 cm (h/w/d). Weight 4,8 kg.

"The Kunsthalle Bremen owns one of the most extensive collections of the expressionist sculptor Ernst Barlach with many important sculptures and the entire print work. So we are delighted to share a reproduction of his major work 'Shepherd in a Storm' with the world. The carved wooden sculpture was created in 1908 and donated to the museum just one year later. For me, it symbolises the universal idea that challenges are part of life. The easy way is not always the right way if you want to achieve your goals or follow your duties." (Prof. Dr Christoph Grunenberg, Director of the Kunsthalle Bremen)

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Portrait of the artist Ernst Barlach

About Ernst Barlach

1870-1938, sculptor, writer and draughtsman

Ernst Barlach was born on 2 January 1870 in Wedel, Germany, and died on 24 October 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 and its 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. Influenced by war and difficult 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 bad artist as best I can. I believe that what cannot be expressed through the work can pass into the possession of another through forms. Again and again my desire and urge to create revolves 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 is appointed Knight of the Peace Class of the Order "Pour le mérite". In 1937 the National Socialists remove his works from public collections and spaces for being "degenerate art". Ernst Barlach died in Rostock on 24 October 1938.

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

"Der singende Mann" (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 fixture in the collections of the world's greatest museums, including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.

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