August Gaul - Gehender Esel
Bronze Height 9.9 cm. Mounted on black marble base (13 x 5.5 x 2 cm) Signed 'A. Gaul' on the cast-with plinth back right, and foundry mark "H.NOACK BERLIN" on right plinth side. - Reddish-brown patina, partially slightly green oxidation on lower throat and chin area. Minor chip to the base.
According to Ernst Barlach's and Tilla Durieux' recollections, the Gaul family had owned a donky since 1907. It was a gift from August Gaul's gallerist Paul Cassirer and primarily intended to be the pet of his son Peter. The sculptor probably was inspired by this animal for the series of six small-scale donkeys on offer here.
'In a series of six works, Gaul payfully studied the donkey's every movement for his motifs. Four sculptures of this series called 'Eselei' were presented at the Berlin Secession of 1911 for the first time; the other two were only on offer at the gallery [Cassirer] from August 1912 and November 1913 respectively. [...] According to a meeting of the board of trustees in November 1921, thirty posthumous casts should have been produced.' Gabler elaborates further on the edition of the individual motifs that 'some casts' were of 'a later date'. (Josephine Gabler, August Gaul, Das Werkverzeichnis der Skulpturen, Berlin 2007, p. 154)
The offer of all six donkeys in the complete series 'Eselei' is very rare.
Galerie Rosenbach, Hanover; Private collection, Baden-Württemberg
Emil Waldmann, August Gaul, Berlin 1919, with illus.; Angelo Walther, August Gaul. Leben und Werk, Phil. Diss. (Typoskript) Leipzig 1961, no. 87; Gert von der Osten, Bestandskatalog Hanover: Katalog der Bildwerke in der Niedersächsischen Landesgalerie Hannover, Munich 1957, no. 429; Roland Dorn, Verzeichnis der bei Cassirer nachweisbaren Arbeiten von August Gaul, in: Ursel Berger (ed.), Der Tierbildhauer August Gaul, exhib. cat. Georg-Kolbe-Museum Berlin, 1999, no. 46; Herwig Guratzsch (ed.), Bestandskatalog Leipzig, Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig: Katalog der Bildwerke, Cologne 1999, no. 215
i.a. Berlin 1911 (Berliner Secession); Bremen 1912 (Deutscher Künstlerbund); Leipzig 1912 (Leipziger Jahresausstellung); Berlin 1919 (Galerie Cassirer), Sonderausstellung August Gaul; Berlin 1927 (Berlin Museum), August Gaul, with illus.; Berlin/Hamburg/Hanau 1999 (Georg-Kolbe-Museum/Ernst Barlach Haus/Museum der Stadt Hanau), Der Tierbildhauer August Gaul, cat.no. 44 with illus. p. 194; Hanau 2011 (Museen der Stadt Hanau), August Gaul. Die Sammlung Alfons und Marianne Kottmann, p. 54 with full-page colour illus. p. 55