Georg Kolbe - Statuette I - image-1

Lot 255 Dα

Georg Kolbe - Statuette I

Auction 1110 - overview Cologne
01.06.2018, 17:00 - Modern Art
Estimate: 35.000 € - 45.000 €
Result: 39.680 € (incl. premium)

Georg Kolbe

Statuette I

Bronze Height 42.6 cm Monogrammed 'GK' (joined) on the plinth next to the right foot. Cast circa 1919. One of presumably only 5 casts. Very rare. Edition Galerie Arnold, Dresden. - Beautiful, even, reddish-brown patina.

For Georg Kolbe and his like-minded contemporaries, such as Richard Scheibe and Hermann Haller, bringing figurative sculpture into a modern form and freeing it from established representational traditions, formal rules and academic strictures was an important goal. They sought a pure depiction of the human body, free of artifice. Motion played an important role in this context. Gestures are generally reserved; however, the whole figure seems to be filled with an inner tension.
Regarding this, Ursel Berger writes: “The activity of his figures is not obvious and, accordingly, thematically one-dimensional. There are no depictions of scenes from everyday life, like those previously favoured by genre sculpture [...] Kolbe's figures do not play-act, they are themselves. This impression is achieved above all through the fact that the movements, even sweeping gestures, do not seem artificially superimposed on them. One particularly characteristic feature of Kolbe's sculptures is that each one's movement permeates the entire figure.” (in: Georg Kolbe 1877-1947, exhib. cat. Georg-Kolbe-Museum Berlin, 16 Nov 1997 - 1 Feb 1998, pp. 26f.). Kolbe moulded the "Statuette I" in Istanbul in 1917 where he stayed during the war. The figure was only to be cast after his return to Germany in early 1919.
In 1934 the building engineer Dr Max Lütze purchased the bronze offered here - very probably directly from the artist. The Swabian-born Lütze worked as a director at the company Wayss und Freytag AG: beginning in the 1930s and continuing for around two decades, he gathered together an extensive collection of Expressionism. The Lütze collection, in its day one of the most important of its kind in West Germany, encompassed paintings by Franz Marc, Emil Nolde and Otto Mueller; watercolours by Nolde and Rohlfs; and also sculptures by Lehmbruck, Barlach and Kolbe. After Lütze's death in 1968 the collection was held in trust by his nephew Diethelm Lütze, of Stuttgart. Individual objects made their way into the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, which exhibited the entire collection, including the bronze by Kolbe, in 1972.

Catalogue Raisonné

Not recorded by Berger


The foundry Hermann Noack, to which the cast was presented the cast on 12 Nov. 2001, confirms that it is an early Noack cast with the typical patina of that time. The numeration and the foundry stamp are often missing.

We would like to thank Ursel Berger, Berlin, for confirmatory and additional information.


Dr. Max Lütze, 1934 acquired directly from the artist; Diethelm Lütze, Stuttgart; Private collection, Baden-Württemberg


Wilhelm R. Valentiner, Georg Kolbe. Plastik und Zeichnung, Munich 1922, p. 46 ("Weibliche Statuette") with illus. p. 22


Stuttgart 1972 (Staatsgalerie), Deutsche Kunst des XX. Jahrhunderts - Sammlung Lütze, p. 20 ("Kleine Tänzerin")