George Minne

(1866-1941)

Adolescent I

1901
Bronze
41.7 x 33.8 x 15 cm (16 ³/₈ x 12 ³/₄ x 5 ⁷/₈ inches)
Signed: G Minne

Signed: G Minne

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Literature
- Berg, B., Y. Deseyve, E. van Raaij e.a., George Minne, voorbode van de moderne kunst, exh. cat.  (Bremen: Gerhard Marcks Haus/Wienand, 2013), p. 3, 4, 69 (ill. of another bronze). 
- De Smet, J., Sint-Martens-Latem en de Kunst aan de Leie (Tielt/Zwolle: Lannoo/Waanders, 2000), p. 159 (ill. of another copy in plaster).
- Hoozee, R. en M. Tahon-Vanroose, George Minne en de kunst rond 1900, exh. cat. (Gent: MSK, 1982), p. 214-15 (ill. of another bronze)
- Hoozee, D. Lampens, P. Baudson e.a., De eerste groep van Sint-Martens-Latem 1899-1914 (Brussel: KMSKB, 1988), p. 214, 215 (ill. of another bronze)
- Wolf, G.J., "George Minne," in: Die Kunst für alle: Malerei, Plastik, Graphik, Architektur, yr. 44 (München: F. Bruckmann A.G., 1928-1929), pp. 256-257 (ill. of another copy in plaster).
- Van Puyvelde, L., George Minne (Bruxelles: Cahier de Belgique, 1930), pl. 40, cat.no. 42 (ill. of another copy).
Exhibitions
Other statues are found in the collections of:
- The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, USA (97.SA.6), marble.
- Musée de la Boverie, Liège (inv. no. BA.AMC.02e.1968.21966), plaster.
- Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels (inv.no. 6185), bronze.
- Landesmuseum, Oldenburg (inv. no. LMO 14.737), bronze.
- Museum der Moderne, Salzburg (inv. no. BA 4956), bronze.
- Stanford University Museum (inv. no. 1968.82), bronze.
Description
Forming an inverted Y with his lean, nude body, a youth stands in an extremely stark pose that conveys the conflicting emotions of troubled adolescence. The exposed body and genitalia suggest defiance, yet he hides his head beneath his protectively closed arms, indicating shame and anguish. The emotions expressed through the figure's modeling and composition--despair, anxiety, and adolescent sexuality--are characteristic of Symbolist art, reflecting the recent interest in psychology and the unconscious as explored by such contemporary philosophers of the human condition as Sigmund Freud. 

The youth's tensed leg muscles and locked knees are a tour de force of marble carving. Indeed, George Minne challenged the marble material by thinning down the legs to such an extreme that they broke at the ankles and had to be repaired with pins. Despite the monumentality of the figure, the statue is only fourteen inches tall. (J.P. Getty Museum) 
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