Käthe Kollwitz:
Sculpture "Pietà" (1938/39), Reduction in Bronze 


Käthe Kollwitz:
Sculpture "Pietà" (1938/39), Reduction in Bronze 


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ars mundi special edition | Limited, 980 copies | Numbered | Signature | Foundry stamp | Certificate | Bronze | Patinated | Reduction | Format 21.5 x 14.5 x 21 cm (H/W/D) | Weight ca. 4.5 kg


Käthe Kollwitz: Sculpture "Pietà" (1938/39), Reduction in Bronze 

Kaethe Kollwitz (1867-1945) raised the problems of poor and suppressed in her works. So she developed the motive of the mother and the child which turned into the symbol of protection and care, as well as innocent suffering. Her sculpture Pieta combines both concepts: on the one side we see the mother who embraces her grown-up son lying on her lap, and on the other side, we see the figure that is similar to the real "Pieta", as the artist described herself, and refers to the historical motif which shows the grief of the Mother of Christ for her dead son. But Kollwitz didn't want us to perceive her sculpture religiously. The presented mother is "a lonely mother deep in dark thoughts" (according to Kollwitz), which keeps her dignity in the situation of the catastrophe.

This famous sculpture appeared in the time when the NS-Regime forbade the artist to work. Today the enlarged copy of the sculpture in the New Guardhouse reminds of the victims of tyranny and despotism.

Sculpture in fine bronze, patinated. Cast by hand in lost wax casting. The shape was taken directly form the original and reduced. Limited edition of 980 copies, each numbered and stamped with the foundry stamp and signature taken from the original. With a numbered authenticity and limitation certificate. Format 21.5 x 14.5 x 21 cm (H/W/D). Weight ca. 4.5 kg. ars mundi special edition.

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Designation for an art object (sculpture, installation), which is produced according to the will of the artist in multiple copies in a limited and numbered edition.

Artist's multiple contributed to "democratization" of art as the work was made available and affordable for a wider audience.

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