Renée Sintenis - Knabenakt
Bronze sculpture Height 26.5 cm Monogrammed 'RS' on the cast-with plinth back left. Foundry marks "H. NOACK BERLIN FRIEDENAU" on the back side of plinth. Lifetime cast. One of two known casts, the second one in the collection H. Knauf, Berlin. - With dark brown patina.
Renée Sintenis knew how to emphasize the idiosyncratic in illuminating ways. And not only in her animal figures - where she, for example, highlighted the spindly-legged unsure footing of foals, or the playful, bullheaded nature of her own terriers. The Berlin-based sculptor captured the personalities of the subjects of her human portraits, too. Likewise, the sculpture on offer, a portrait of the young Peter Rosenheim, appears to express a certain willfulness of character in its pose. The powerful attitude articulated in the clenched fists and wide stance is amusingly and touchingly counteracted by the fragility of the boy's wispy frame. The defiance so characteristic of a certain age of toddler is here communicated by the entire portrait in a way that typifies the newly discovered strength of will of young children. This makes the child's portrait interesting to a larger circle of collectors beyond the family context.
Peter's mother, Edith Rosenheim, the wife of a Berlin banker, commissioned the child's portrait from her friend Renée Sintenis. The Jewish family took the sculpture with them when they emigrated to the US in the early 1930s, and then later when they returned to Europe. It has now been made available by the heirs.
Berger/Ladwig 057 ("Dimensions unknown"); Buhlmann 89 (no illus.)
We would like to thank Ursel Berger and Günter Ladwig, Berlin, for scientific consultation.
Collection Ludolf and Edith Rosenheim, Berlin and New York, in family possession since
Gustav Eugen Diehl (ed.), Renée Sintenis, Berlin 1927, no. 49 (this exemplar); René Crevel/Georg Biermann, Renée Sintenis, Berlin 1930, p. 14, no. 49 (no illus., "bei Ludolf Rosenheim")
Berlin 1925 (Galerie Flechtheim), Marie Laurencin and Renée Sintenis, cat. no. 43 (this exemplar)