Inclined Head of Kneeling Woman

Inclined Head of Kneeling Woman
Wilhelm Lehmbruck (German, 1881-1919)
18-1/2 x 17-1/2 x 11-1/2 in. (47 x 44.5 x 29.2 cm) 
Credit Line:
Norton Simon Art Foundation 
Accession Number:
© Norton Simon Art Foundation 
On View

At a moment when many artists were producing brash abstractions, Lehmbruck—like his friend Maillol—remained devoted to the human form. Elongated, purified, even gently abstracted, Lehmbruck’s figures are nevertheless whole and movingly human. With an inward gaze and a graceful neck, this bust epitomizes the artist’s mature style. It was cast from the upper portion of a full-length sculpture, The Kneeling Woman, today widely regarded as Lehmbruck’s most important contribution to the history of art. His decision to cast the bust separately may have been influenced by Rodin’s similar practice, but the resulting object—in which spiritual detachment and a delicate sensuality are carefully balanced—more clearly recalls busts of the Virgin Mary modeled in terracotta in the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance.


Maria Stadelmayer-Wolff, Munich.
[R.N. Ketterer, Campione bei Lugano, sold 1967 to];
Norton Simon Art Foundation.

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