George Minne

(1866-1941)

The macon

1897
Plaster
H. 76 cm
Repatinated
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Literature
- Bombeke, R., P. Adams, F. Benijts e.a., Acht van Latem, exh. cat., 1993, nr. 33 (ill. of another copy in wood).
- Boyens, P., Een zeldzame weelde. Kunst van Latem en Leiestreek 1900-1930 (Amsterdam/Gent: Ludion, 2001), p. 70, nr. 81 (ill. of another copy in wood).
- De Ridder, A., George Minne (Antwerpen: De Sikkel, 1947), no. 11 (ill. of another copy in wood).
- Engelen-Marx, Beeldhouwkunst in België vanaf 1830, deel I A-D (Brussel: Algemeen Rijksarchief, 2002), p. 2602 (ill. of another copy).
- Hoozee, R., M. Tahon-Vanroose & C. Verleysen, De wereld van George Minne & Maurice Maeterlinck (Antwerpen: Mercatorfonds, 2011), p. 168 (ill. of another sculpture in wood).
- Rossi-Schrimpf, I., George Minne - Das Frühwerk (Weimar: VDG, 2012), p. 82, 83, 175, 275, 247, 372, afb. 18 (ill. of another copy in bronze and wood).
- Vagianos, A., "The Sculpture of George Minne," in: Canadian Journal of Netherlandic Studies, pp. 52-64, fig. 4 (ill. of another copy in wood).
- Van Doorne, V., C. Baumann M.A., Sint-Martens-Latem - Worpswerde 1880-1914 twee kunstenaarskolonies (Deinze/Worpswede: MuDeL/Grosse Kunstschau, 1996), p. 77, nr. 11 (ill.of another copy in wood).
- Van Puyvelde, L., George Minne (Bruxelles: Cahier de Belgique, 1930), no. 25, pl. 23 (ill. of another copy).
- Gleis, Ralph (ed.), Decadence and Dark Dreams. Belgian Symbolism (Berlin: Nationalgalerie - Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Hirmer, 2020),fig. 1, 80-89, 322.
Exhibitions
- 1899, Paris, Durand-Ruel, no. 195 (ander exemplaar).
- 1899, Brussels, La Libre Esthétique, Exposition VI, no. 240 (ander exemplaar).
- 1900, Paris, Maison Moderne (ander exemplaar).
- 1902, Berlin, cat.no. 315 (Der Schnitzer).
- 1906-07, Berlin, Kunstsalon Paul Cassirer, no. 61 (ander exemplaar).
- 1912, Köln, cat.no. 612.
- 1913, Düsseldorf, Flechtheim.
- 1913, Ghent, cat.no. 672.
- 1943, Ghent, Museum of Fine Arts, Valerius De Saedeleer - George Minne (ill. of another copy).
Provenance
- Collection Maurice Sys, thence by descent to Galerie Oscar De Vos.
Description
Auguste Rodin's work was a point of departure for George Minne. But about 1891, after Rodin had patronizingly dismissed him with words of encouragement, Minne returned to Belgium.
At the time when sculpture was dominated by grandiose gestures of realism and late romanticism, and was often executed on a massive scale, Minne simplified and refined sculpture into small, compact works which, unlike Rodin, did not try to conquer space but shrank back into themselves.

Then, in 1896, having spent a year at the academy in Brussels, his most productive time began. Minne's early work is characterised by its often strong symbolist character. His withdrawn figures are imbued with a quiet mysticism that accentuates their spirituality. His work contained only a few motifs that he explored repeatedly, which displays influence from Gothic sculpture and the Pre-Raphaelites. His major success throughout Europe began around 1900 and deeply influenced artists in Belgium, France and Germany.

The Mason (1897) displays George Minne's skills at their best and dates from an instrumental year, one year after the sculptor completed his celebrated work the Fountain with Kneeling Youth.
The Mason contains some of the mysticism but, above all, one marvels at the delicacy with which the artist conceived this concept. This sculpture Minne has been executed in bronze, wood and marble, but his plaster casting – which contains the crisp and sharp detailing – was closest to the artist. Evident in this sculpture in Minne's inventiveness in the depiction of the human figure. The body of The Macon is depicted in the most captivating gesture, physically exerting itself whilst contained in deep concentration.
Collections:
- Antwerp, Phoebus Foundation (wood, plaster)
- Brussels, Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium, inv.no. 4791 (wood).
- Ghent, Museum of Fine Arts, inv.no. 1951-L (wood)
- Paris, Musée d'Orsay, inv.no. S RF 2010 3 (marble).
- Dresden, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, inv.no. ZV 3012.
- Dresden, Albertinum, Skulpturenslg. (1910).
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