The Folkwang Museum Recovers a Statuette by Maillol


5/3/13 - Acquisition - Essen, Folkwang Museum - The Folkwang Museum has recovered one of its works : a wooden statuette by Maillol - a rare example - representing a young woman - a not so rare subject... -, which had been acquired by Gertrude and Karl Ersnt Osthaus from Ambroise Vollard in 1904.


Aristide Maillol (1861-1944)
Young Girl Standing, 1902
Essen, Museum Folkwang
Photo : Museum Folkwang/
VG Bild-Kunst Bonn, 2013

Aristide Maillol (1861-1944)
Young Girl Standing, 1902
Essen, Museum Folkwang
Photo : Museum Folkwang/
VG Bild-Kunst Bonn, 2013


Maillol, who turned to sculpture late in life, began by carving wood and then experimented with clay, a faster process. This statuette already shows the canons of feminine attributes adopted by the artist, with ample and simple forms and for whom sculpture should neither show expression nor gestures ; the nudity is underscored by a veil which would not appear in later models, choosing to make them even more pure. The figure’s contrapposto, her impassive face and monumental attitude, despite the reduced size, reflects the attraction for Antiquity which inspired Maillol, "classique moderne", the antithesis of Rodin.
Mr. and Mrs. Osthaus were fascinated by the sculptor’s art and also purchased a Young Girl Kneeling in terracotta and a bronze of a Woman Bather without Arms as well as a Woman Cyclist.
These works were displayed at the Folkwang museum created by Karl Ernst Osthaus in 1902 in Hagen ; after the death of the art patron in 1921, part of the collection was sold but Gertrude kept the statuette and left it on deposit at the Folkwang museum which reopened its doors in Essen. This was followed by the period of "degenerate art", and the subsequent purges in the collections. The statue was recovered by Gertrude’s daughter and was finally repurchased from the current owners in 2011 by the museum which officially presented it in its collections in early 2013.

Version française


Bénédicte Bonnet Saint-Georges, lundi 11 mars 2013



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