Kniende. 1928. Bronze with medium-brown patina. Berger 115. Left knee with monogram in ligature and number "III". One of 15 casts made during the artist's lifetime between 1928 and ca. 1935. 51.5 x 22 x 22 cm (20.2 x 8.6 x 8.6 in). Cast by the art foundry Hermann Noack, Berlin-Friedenau. Just as it is the case with many bronzes from Georg Kolbe without a plinth, this cast carries no foundry mark, either. Other casts are in the collections of the Georg Kolbe Museum, Berlin and the Detroit Institute of Arts. According to Berger only two casts were numbered "1" and "2" for the export to the USA, in rare cases also "3" (alternatively "I", "II", "III") as lower import taxes were levied for the first casts; however, the number does not indicate the chronological order of the casts. This copy is the 3rd cast of the bronze that was exported to the USA. Lifetime cast of this important bronze from the late 1920s. Other casts are in possession of the collections of the Georg Kolbe Museum, Berlin, and the Detroit Institute of Arts.. Accompanied by an expertise from Dr. Ursel Berger, Berlin, dated August 27, 2017.
PROVENANCE: Parke-Bernet Galleries Inc., New York, March 1962, auction 2096, lot 43, with illu. on p. 31. Private collection USA (acquired in aforementioned auction, in family possession ever since).
EXHIBITION: 'Deutsche Kunstausstellung' in Warsaw 1929 (different copy, which went into the possession of the Polish state as a gift from the German government).
LITERATURE: Georg Kolbe/Richard Scheibe, Georg Kolbe in 100 Lichtdrucktafeln, Marburg 1931, plate 76b.
In the late 1920s Georg Kolbe attained a more compact style, the models' posture became more self-confident and gained an overall stronger expression. He increased the emphasis on the statuary aspect and conceived the body as a whole. The earlier idealization gave way to a more realistic depiction, which, inspired by the prevailing contemporary taste, would determine the artist's entire late period of creation.