• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7600

    Impressionist and Modern Art Day Sale

    25 June 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 572

    Käthe Kollwitz (1867-1945)

    Die Klage (Zum Gedenken des 1938 verstorbenen Ernst Barlach)

    Price Realised  

    Käthe Kollwitz (1867-1945)
    Die Klage (Zum Gedenken des 1938 verstorbenen Ernst Barlach)
    signed 'KOLLWITZ' (on the left side)
    bronze with brown patina
    Height: 10½ in. (26.7 cm.)
    Length: 9¾ in. (24.8 cm.)
    Conceived in 1938; this bronze version cast by Noack during the artist's lifetime


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Otto Bartning (1883-1959), born in Karlsruhe, was a renowned Modernist architect and teacher. In the wake of the First World War, he and his friend Walter Gropius, amongst others, were strong advocates of reform in the field of art and design pedagogy. In 1918, Bartning was instrumental in the concept and programme development of the Bauhaus and influenced Gropius' 1919 avant-guard Bauhaus manifesto. Otto's wife, Cläry and Käthe Kollwitz were close friends, whose bond was strengthened through grief as both lost their sons during the First World War. Kollwitz's youngest son, Peter, was killed on the battlefield in October 1914. Cläry's son was also named Peter. Die Klage (The Lament), a memorial to Ernst Barlach, is also highly evocative of a mother's pain at the loss of her child.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Provenance

    Otto and Cläry Bartning, Karlsruhe, by whom acquired directly from the artist circa 1942, and thence by descent to the present owner.


    Literature

    A. Heilborn, Käthe Kollwitz, Berlin, 1949, p. 89 (plaster version illustrated).
    M.C. & H.A. Klein, Käthe Kollwitz, Life in Art, New York, 1975, p. 140 (plaster version illustrated).
    H. Guratzsch, Käthe Kollwitz, Druckgraphik, Handzeichnungen, Plastik, Bonn, 1990, no. 59 (another cast illustrated p. 62).