Große Daphne. 1930. Bronze with brown patina. Berger/Ladwig 117. Buhlmann 68. With the foundry mark "H.NOACK BERLIN-FRIEDENAU" on rear. From an edition of at least 10 casts. Height: 145 cm (57 in). Lifetime cast. Cast by the art foundry Hermann Noack, Berlin-Friedenau (with foundry mark). • With "Daphne" Sintenis created her finest expression of female grace and an allegory of modern femininity. • Next to the Berlin Bear this is the artist's largest bronze. • Very rare. To date only 4 casts of "Große Daphne" have been offered on the international auction market (source: www.artprice.com). • First copy on the international auction market with the early "Friedenau" foundry mark. • Another cast is part of the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York. • At least five of the ten copies mentioned in Buhlmann are in museum ownership today.
PROVENANCE: Collection Dr. E. Schneider, Düsseldorf (1960). Dr. Ewald Rathke Kunsthandel, Frankfurt a. M. Collection Deutsche Bank AG, Frankfurt a. M. (acquired from aforementioned).
EXHIBITION: (Selection, for all casts) Renée Sintenis, Marie Laurencin, Martel Schwichtenberg, Alexandra Exter, Galerie Flechtheim Berlin, December 1930, cat. no. 8 (with illu.) Künstlerinnen, Galerie Flechtheim, Berlin 1931. German art of the twentieth century, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1957, cat. no. 172. Daphne. Mythos und Metamorphose, Gerhard-Marcks-Haus, Bremen, November 22, 2009 - February 21, 2010.
LITERATURE: (Selection, for all casts) Hanna Kiel, Renée Sintenis, Berlin 1935, illu. on pp. 4, 68 und 69, and Berlin 1956, illu. pp. 44 and 45. Alfred Barr, Painting and Sculpture in the Museum of Modern Art, New York 1948, illu. pp. 248 and 321, and Painting and Sculpture in the Museum of Modern Art 1929-1967, New York 1977, illu. pp. 202 and 589. Hildegard Westhoff-Krummacher, Die Bildwerke seit 1800 im Wallraff-Richartz-Museum und im öffentlichen Besitz der Stadt Köln, Cologne 1965, illu. on p. 243. Zwischen Freiheit und Moderne. Die Bildhauerin Renée Sintenis, Kunstforum Ostdeutsche Galerie Regensburg, October 12, 2019 - January 12, 2020, pp. 88-93. "Her prayer was scarcely done when a heavy numbness seized her limbs, thin bark closed over her breast, her hair turned into leaves, her arms into branches, her feet so swift a moment ago stuck fast in slow-growing roots [..]" Ovid, Metamorphoses, book 1, verse 545-551
Sintenis - a female exception in the Berlin art world
Renée Sintenis, who became an artist against her parents' will, showed her works at the Berlin Secession as early as in1915, and was a real exception in the Berlin art world of the 1920s and 1930s. In 1931, one year after Sintenis created the "Große Daphne", she was the only female artists of her time to be appointed to the Prussian Academy of the Arts, where she taught until she was forced to leave by the Nazis in 1934. With the sculpture "Daphne" Renée Sintenis probably formed the most beautiful expression of feminine grace. Renée Sintenis and the motif of "Daphne"
She turned to the subject of classical mythology as early as in1917/18 when she created her first, small statuette of "Daphne". The spontaneous metamorphosis of the nymph Daphne into a laurel tree as she flees the love-stricken god Apollo is a poem from Ovid's Metamorphoses. In addition to Sintenis ’creation, the famous marble statue of Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1622-1625, Rome, Villa Borghese) is certainly one of the best-known sculptural representations of this motif. While Bernini's statue shows Apollo and Daphne, Sintenis solely focused on Daphne and the moment of her beginning transformation. The unstoppable imminent transformation is only hinted at with the leaves growing out of her ankles, hair and armpits. Sintenis' concentration is more on the fragile physicality, which anticipates the metamorphosis in the extreme elongation of the limbs. The “Große Daphne“ as a symbol of the modern woman
It is exactly the strong emancipatory moment inherent in this famous episode from ancient mythology, in which the ambivalence of lived femininity and the concurrent emancipatory withdrawal of it is taken to extremes, thatSintenis must have felt so strongly about. With her androgynous appearance, her tall, slim figure and short hair, as well as her emancipated way of life, she embodied the type of the new, self-confident woman of the "Roaring Twenties" in an excellent way. It is thus little surprising that after the sudden death of her husband Emil Rudolph Weiß in 1945, Sintenis dared to take the extraordinarily courageous step of moving in with her partner Magdalena Goldmann. In her "Große Daphne" Sintenis used a traditional mythological motif, however, through rendering the process of Daphne’s transformation she created an extremely graceful symbol of the modern woman, expressing the dawn of a modern, self-determined life. [JS]