Gerhard Marcks - Albertus Magnus (Modell II) - image-1
Gerhard Marcks - Albertus Magnus (Modell II) - image-2
Gerhard Marcks - Albertus Magnus (Modell II) - image-3
Gerhard Marcks - Albertus Magnus (Modell II) - image-1Gerhard Marcks - Albertus Magnus (Modell II) - image-2Gerhard Marcks - Albertus Magnus (Modell II) - image-3

Lot 68 D

Gerhard Marcks - Albertus Magnus (Modell II)

Auction 1223 - overview Cologne
06.06.2023, 18:00 - Evening Sale - Modern and Contemporary Art
Estimate: 60.000 € - 80.000 €
Result: 163.800 € (incl. premium)

Gerhard Marcks

Albertus Magnus (Modell II)

Bronze. Height 87 cm. Signed with artist's signum and numbered 'IV' on the seat on the left. With foundry mark "Schmäke Düsseldorf" verso on the edge of the base and titled and numbered 'ALBERTUS MAGNUS IV' on the front. Cast IV. beside the two casts mentioned by Rudloff. - With golden brown patina. - In very fine condition.

Gerhard Marcks was an established sculptor in 1955, when the Cologne lawyer, art collector and deputy mayor Josef Haubrich commissioned him on behalf of the city to create a monument paying tribute to the medieval scholar Albertus Magnus for the main building of the university. Honoured by this public commission, Marcks drew his pencil sketch of a seated man with raised left hand before the end of the year. This is probably the most important preparatory work for the two slightly diverging bronze models of the Albertus Magnus figure, the second of which was reworked for the larger-than-life-size cast. Our cast is the so-called “Modell II” with the stamp of the renowned Schmäke foundry in Düsseldorf.
Marcks has interpreted the Dominican monk and universal scholar as a person attuned to the world around him, addressing the imaginary audience he teaches while seated on a simple stool. The friar is wearing a plain robe with a broad mantle laid round his shoulders; a large book lies open on his knees. The spiritualised head is stretched forward above the neck and is turned slightly to the right, while his raised left hand seems to be reinforcing his speech through its gesture. The contrapposto composition provides the figure with a certain degree of tension.
Albertus Magnus, actually Count Albert of Bollstaedt (1193 – 1286), joined the Dominican Order as a young man, received his master of theology in Paris in 1244/45 and travelled on various assignments throughout the territory then comprising the Holy Roman Empire. His activity in Cologne is also documented. As a member of the Dominican order there, he successfully settled the conflict between the archbishop of Cologne and the city through the mediation of arbitrators. Albertus Magnus left behind numerous texts reflecting his universal erudition. As stated in the description of the version at the Museum Ludwig, the people of Cologne consider Magnus a great citizen of the Middle Ages and the spiritual father of the university founded in 1388. His grave is located in the crypt of the Dominican Church St. Andreas, Cologne.

Catalogue Raisonné

Rudloff 628 b; Gerhard Marcks works diary plaster/bronze 422/721


Private collection, Bavaria


A. Rieth, Gerhard Marcks, Recklinghausen 1959, p. 20; Heinz Ladendorf, Gerhard Marcks. Albertus Magnus, Stuttgart 1962; Gerhard Marcks. Bronze Sculpture, exhib. cat. Leonard Hutton Galleries, New York 1967, no. 15 with ill.; Gerhard Marks. Werke der Kölner Jahre 1950 bis 1969, exhib. cat. Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne 1969, p. 8f.; Martina Rudloff, Gerhard Marcks. Das plastische Werk, Frankfurt/Berlin/Vienna (2nd ed.) 1977, pp. 68f.; Gerhard Marcks. Dem Grossen Bildhauer zum Gedächtnis, exhib. cat. Galerie Nierendorf, Berlin, no. 64A with ill.; Gerhard Marcks. Der Bildhauer denkt!, exhib. cat. Käthe Kollwitz Museum Cologne, Cologne 2018, p. 13.