Indiana University Bloomington IU Bloomington IUB

Singing Man (Singender Mann)

Expressionist sculpture flourished in Germany during and after World War I, when many artists turned to sculpture to express the pain, suffering, and frustration wrought by the war. Ernst Barlach’s Singing Man (first cast in 1928) is one of the best-known examples of German Expressionist sculpture. Although not overtly religious, the closed eyes and upturned face of the figure convey Barlach’s interest in humanity striving toward spirituality. Indeed, the emotional power and spirituality of Barlach’s work led to several commissions for World War I memorials, some of which were placed in churches.

Ernst Barlach
German, 1870–1938
Singing Man (Singender Mann)
1928 (cast 1938)
20 x 24 in. (50.8 x 61 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, William Lowe Bryan Memorial, 57.36