Native placeWedel, PRU [now DEU]
Dead placeRostock, DEU


Barlach was born in Wedel in northern Germany. After going to a technical school in Hamburg he studied sculpture at the Academy of Art in Dresden. He preferred to use figures of common people in ordinary situation as his subjects. This preference became stronger when he traveled to Russia in 1906 and felt a deep sympathy with the peasants he met there. The following year he exhibited with the Berlin Secession. He found the spirit of the age in the living emotions of common people and expressed it in powerful forms, creating a unique and truly expressionistic sculpture. He was recognized as one of the most important artists in Germany, but when the Nazis came to power his art was branded "degenerate" and suppressed. In spite of this, he stayed in Germany and ended his life in despair.

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