Käthe Kollwitz:
Sculpture "Farewell" (1940/41), Bronze


Käthe Kollwitz:
Sculpture "Farewell" (1940/41), Bronze


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ars mundi special edition | Limited, 980 copies | Numbered | Signature | Foundry stamp | Certificate | Bronze | Patinated | Format 21 x 13,5 x 11,5 cm (H/W/D) | Weight ca. 3,5 kg


Käthe Kollwitz: Sculpture "Farewell" (1940/41), Bronze

Kaethe Kollwitz (1867-1945) was often perceived as a primarily social, even politically motivated artist, as she repeatedly raised her voice for the poor and oppressed. Kollwitz insisted on humanity even in inhuman times, and that alone could and had to be understood as a political positioning. Her importance to the present day, however, lies in the fact that she never worked on it as an artist, but at the same time gave her figures an intimacy that virtually excludes her from reading them as one-dimensional "symbols" or "examples".

This can also be seen in a central theme of her late work, the "Farewell" of 1940/41. The artist deals with the pain of the death of Karl Kollwitz in 1940, her partner for half a century. The motive of the hug, often found in Kollwitz 'work, here it forms a picture of utmost closeness and intimacy in the moment of loss. In this work small gestures have a big meaning. While she clings to him, he breaks away from her, and it is a go, but also a let go, maybe even the moment of acceptance of the inevitable.

Sculpture in fine bronze, patinated. Cast by hand in lost wax technique. The shape was taken directly from the original and enlarged. Limited edition of 980 copies, individually numbered and stamped with the signature taken from the museum's original and the foundry hallmark. With a numbered authenticity and limitation certificate. Format 21 x 13.5 x 11.5 cm (H/W/D). Weight about 3.5 kg. ars mundi special edition.

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An alloy of copper with other metals (especially with tin) used since ancient times.

Bronze casting:

When casting bronze, artist usually applies the lost-wax technique which is dating back more than 5000 years. It's the best, but also the most complex method of producing sculptures.

Sculpture "The Book Reader" by Ernst Barlachs is shown here as an example:

Ernst Barlach: Sculpture 'The book reader'

Ernst Barlach 'The Book Reader' - Lost Wax Casting Technique Part 1

First, the artist forms a model of his sculpture. It is embedded in a liquid silicone rubber composition. Once the material has solidified, the model is cut out. The liquid wax is poured in the negative mould. After cooling down, the wax casting is removed from the mould, provided with sprues and dipped into ceramic mass. The ceramic mass is hardened in a kiln, and the wax flows out (lost mould).

Ernst Barlach 'The Book Reader' - Lost Wax Casting Technique Part 2Now we finally have the negative form, into which the 1400 ° C hot molten bronze is poured. After the bronze had cooled down, the ceramic shell is broken off and the sculpture comes to light.

Ernst Barlach 'The Book Reader' - Lost Wax Casting Technique Part 3Now the sprues are removed, the surfaces are polished, patinated and numbered by the artist himself or, to his specifications, by a specialist. Thus, each casting becomes an original work

For lower-grade bronze castings, the sand casting method is often used which, however, does not achieve the results of more complex lost wax technique in terms of surface characteristics and quality.

Related links:
Sand casting

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