• Impressionist and Modern Art auction at Christies

    Sale 2828

    Impressionist and Modern Art

    17 November 2009, Amsterdam

  • Lot 126

    Georges Minne (1866-1941)

    L'Agenouillé de la fontaine: de geknielde aan de bron

    Price Realised  


    Georges Minne (1866-1941)
    L'Agenouillé de la fontaine: de geknielde aan de bron
    signed 'GMinne' (on the side of the base)
    78 cm. high
    Conceived in 1898 and executed circa 1901.

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    Born in Ghent in 1866, Minne studied architecture until 1884. Two years later Minne joined the prestigious Symbolist art group Les Vingt, members of which included Fernand Khnopff, James Ensor, Theo van Rijsselberghe and Henry van de Velde.

    The motif of the kneeling figure begins in the mid-1890's and culminates in the Fontaine des agenouillés (fig.1), a work commissioned by art patron Karl Ernst Osthaus for the Folkwang Museum in Hagen. George Minne's L'Agenouillé not only embodies the primary elements of Art Nouveau and Symbolism, but also recalls stylistic facets of Gothic northern European sculpture. The work cleary departs from the tradition of literal naturalism and instead introduces a tactile representation of emotional experience. Completely self-absorbed the youth shields himself from the external world, suggesting an inner life withheld from the viewer.
    Other marble examples of this sculpture can be found at the Museum Boymans van Beuningen, Rotterdam and in the Musée de Gand in Ghent.

    Senator and brewer Jozef de Blieck was a mecenas for the artist Valerius de Saedeleer, who started assembling his collection of Belgian art before 1910. The present lot has been in the possession of his family ever since.

    Special Notice

    Christie’s charges a premium to the buyer on the Hammer Price of each lot sold at the following rates: 29.75% of the Hammer Price of each lot up to and including €20,000, plus 23.8% of the Hammer Price between €20,001 and €800.000, plus 14.28% of any amount in excess of €800.000. Buyer’s premium is calculated on the basis of each lot individually.


    Mr. J. de Blieck, Aalst, thence by descent to the present owner.


    L. van Puyvelde, George Minne, Brussels 1930, cat.no. 26, ill.no. 24-25.
    André de Ridder, George Minne, Antwerp 1947, p. 14, (ill. of another marble).
    Paul Haesaerts, George Minne, Sint-Martens-Latem 1965, p. 89, (ill. of a bronze).
    R. Hozee (a.o.), George Minne en de kunst rond 1900, Kruishouten 1982, cat.no. 71, p. 149 (ill. of a bronze version).
    Exh.cat. Wilhelm Lehmbruck, George Minne, Joseph Beuys, Ghent 1991, cat.no. 96 (ill. of a bronze version)