Dr Ursel Bergel has confirmed the authenticity of this work.
Renée Sintenis, a prominent figure within the art world of Berlin during the 20th century, is especially known for her portrayals of athletes and animals. Among her most renowned works is the Berliner Bär, a replica of which is awarded to the winners of the Berlinale, Berlin’s annual film festival. During her lifetime, she was noted for her unconventional lifestyle, and, before being forced to resign by the Nazi regime, she was the first woman to be named a member of the much respected Berlin Academy of Arts.
For the present sculpture, possibly her most emblematic subject, Sintenis was awarded the prestigious Olympia Prize in 1932. The subject represents the Finnish runner Paavo Nuurmi, nicknamed ‘Flying Finn’. Having won nine gold and three silver medals in long distance running competitions at the Olympic Games of 1920, 1924 and 1928, he was considered the greatest athlete in his category during the early 20th century.