© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2013

KARL SCHMIDT-ROTTLUFF

Praying Figure

1917/18

Painted wood
Inv. No. St. P 417

38 cm

zur  Biographie

Reaching skyward with face and arms, this figure is certainly worshiping a god. But Schmidt- Rottluff was initiated into the art of primitive peoples, which was discovered in Europe in the early twentieth century and preserved in its ethnological museums, and he presumably also wished to present this ritually stylized figure as an idol in its own right. He carved the little wooden figure in 1917/18, when he was stationed in Russia as a soldier, and painted it later. Beyond all political, cultural, and religious boundaries, the cofounder of the artists’ group “Die Brücke” has succeeded in creating a sculptural work that combines Expressionism with the archaic quality of non-European artefacts.

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