The Singing Man
Ernst Barlach ( German, 1870 - 1938 )
- Modeled 1928, cast 1938
Associated with the founding of the German Expressionist movement, Ernst Barlach was one of the most important German sculptors of his time. He found inspiration in Gothic woodcarvings and primarily produced solitary figures in wood or bronze that represent specific emotions, such as joy, sorrow, and quiet contemplation. The Singing Man is one of Barlach’s best-known works. By cloaking the man in a simple tunic, the artist drew attention to the figure’s face, intensely concentrated in a deeply spiritual moment. The sculpture’s particularly moving presence may reflect Barlach’s own feelings, as he made it while working on memorials to those lost in World War I.