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"Bronze Sculpture - The Avenger (1914), sign. Ernst Barlach"
Ernst Barlach’s „The Avenger“ was made after the outbreak of the First World War in 1914. The sculpture represents the inexorable force of the German army. The dynamic sculpture in the form of a Berserker is a symbol of the war and the dissatisfaction with the political, economical and social conditions at that time. The powerful scene of a warrior striding forward and holding an enormous sword over his back accentuates the expressive language and the aggressivity of Barlach’s work. The dynamism of the man’s forward movement and the timeless gown were inspired by Futurism and Cubism. The sculpture turned to a symbol of outbreak of the war even before it was exhibited.
Ernst Barlach (1870–1938) was a German sculptor, graphic artist, writer and one of the most important German expressionists. Particulary his wooden sculptures and bronzes make him known beyond national borders. Barlach’s art was persecuted in fascist Germany. He was forbidden to work, and his works were confiscated or destroyed.
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