Renée Sintenis - Steigendes Pony (Pony bäumend; Pony auf der Hinterhand)
Steigendes Pony (Pony bäumend; Pony auf der Hinterhand)
Bronze Height 14.2 cm. Mounted on a square bronze plinth (approx. 4.4 x 4.2 x 0.5 cm) Monogrammed "RS" on the plinth to the right. - Stamped "1" on the back side edge of the plinth. - The dark brown patina, slightly highlighted in places.
The present cast once belonged to the Metropolitan Museum in New York. It was a private donation, together with other figures by Sintenis. The stamped number, applied for customs reasons, indicates an early export to the United States. Further examples of this piece can now be found in the Sprengel Museum in Hanover and the Knauf Collection in Berlin.
The motif of the rearing pony is found in Sintenis' well-known work “Junger Reiter” from 1934. The slightly later bronze offered here showing a little horse rearing up high on its hind legs is much rarer by comparison, and was listed without an illustration in the first catalogue raisonné of the artist's works. Sintenis additionally created a 113 cm version of this piece in 1940. An example of this larger bronze is kept in the Kunsthalle in Mannheim and was prchased before 1945. But also Cologne possesses one exemplar of the „Großes Steigendes Pony“ (cf. Berger/Ladwig 172 and Buhlmann 171).
The small figure is remarkable not only for its exceptional grace but also for the liveliness of the far-reaching movement. This vivid depiction is expressed by the work's nuanced modelling of the surface and the open contour. The slightly inclined head, waving mane and bushy tail are aptly depicted and give this composition of the artist's mature period a perfect sense of balance despite the lively movement of form.
“Renée Sintenis did not look for motifs in order to experiment and to reach new formal solutions, but instead chose the motif of the animal as the central subject of her oeuvre from the very beginning, especially during the time in which she didn't venture into the outside world or could only take few short trips. She once said: 'I learnt one thing very early on with regards to animals, namely that one should develop every animal towards its own beauty, as this fulfils their existence, the joy of their lives, the soul that inhabits life itself and which we are no longer able to or have forgotten how to feel.' This lifelong occupation with the distinctly non-political subject of animals represents both the idea of the artist clinging to the positive sides of life and choosing isolation in times of war and terror, but also of a lifelong fascination with the form and movement of the animal. It is primarily a form of artistic survival.” (Isabelle Schwarz, exhib. cat. Weiße Federn, schwarzes Fell, Sprengel Museum Hanover 2013, p. 97).
Berger/Ladwig 163; Buhlmann 168 (with slightly varying dimensions, not illustrated).
Buchholz-Gallery (Curt Valentin), New York (pre 1944); Samuel Dretzin (1945-1976); Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (1976-2015); Private possession
Rudolf Hagelstange, Carl Georg Heise, Paul Appel, Renée Sintenis, Berlin 1947, illus. 116 ("Pony"); Gert von der Osten, Katalog der Bildwerke in der Niedersächsischen Landesgalerie Hannover, Munich 1957, no. 460 mit illus. p. 289 ("Pony auf der Hinterhand (Levade)"); Harald Seiler, Landesgalerie Hannover. Bildwerke der Gegenwart, Hanover 1967, p. 54 ("Pony auf der Hinterhand (Levade)")
Dortmund 1963 (Museum am Ostwall), Tierplastik im 20. Jahrhundert, cat. no. 157; Bremen 1977 (Gerhard-Marcks-Stiftung Bremen), Tiere. Philipp Harth - Gerhard Marcks und die deutsche Tierplastik im 20. Jahrhundert, cat. no. 35; Hanover 2012/2013 (Sprengel Museum), Weiße Federn, schwarzes Fell. Tiere in Darstellungen des 20. Jahrhunderts, cat. no. 184, illus. p. 98 ("Pony auf der Hinterhand (Levade)" [illus. swapped with cat. no. 183 "Hochspringendes Pony", illus. p. 100]