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Arno Breker, Du und Ich (original marble)

Arno Breker, Du und Ich (original marble) Arno Breker, Du und Ich (original marble) Arno Breker, Du und Ich (original marble)

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Arno Brekers original marble relief 'Du und Ich'

Arno Breker's large plaster model of 'Du und Ich', measuring 2.32 metres by 1.28 metres, was displayed in the Great German Art Exhibition in 1944, Room 2.
The relief offered here is an original marble relief by Arno Breker. 75,5 x 41,5 cm, signed. This marble relief, most likely, served as the model for the 50 identical post war casts of ‘ARA-Marble’ (casts of syntectic marble, numbered from 1 to 50). This original relief bears no number. During the professional cleaning proces (which took two weeks), rests of the molding material were found.
 

- condition : II
- size : 41 x 75,5 cm
- signed : right, under
- type : carved marble (NOT: 'ARA-Marble')   
- misc. : acquired from the artist; thence by descent




Left: Arno Breker, postcard*, 'Die Partei'.
Right: Arno Breker, postcard, 'Die Wehrmacht'.
Statues representing the spirit of the Nazi Party that flanked the carriage entrance to Albert Speer’s new Reich Chancellery.     
  


Left: Arno Breker, postcard, 'Der Rächer' ('Revenger'), GDK 1941, room 2.
Right: Arno Breker, postcard, 'Apollo und Daphne', GDK 1944, room 2.
 


Left: Arno breker, postcard, 'Berufung' ('Mission'), GDK 1941, room 2.
Right: Arno breker, postcard, 'Bereitschaft' ('Readyness'), GDK 1939, room 2.
  


Berlin Olympic Stadion (still existing)
Left: Arno Breker, 'Zehnkämpfer' ('Decathlate'). GDK 1937, room 15.
Right: Arno Breker, ‘Die Siegerin’ (‘The Victress’). GDK 1937, room 8.
Both sculptures are placed in the Pfeilerhalle (Pillar-hall) of the ‘Haus des Deutschen Sports‘, Berlin Olympic Stadiun. Photos: 2015.
‘Die Siegerin’ -likely the plaster model- stood also in the Reichskanzlei (located in the 'Verbindungshallen im Westlichen Verwaltungsbau’); ‘Die Siegerin’ was also displayed in the International Pavilion of  the World Exhibition, 1937, in Paris.
  


Arno Breker, postcard, ‘Knieendes’ (‘Kneeling woman’). GDK 1942, room 11.



Arno Breker, ‘Aurora’. Sculpture, created in 1926, on the roof of the Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf (photo: 2014).
  


The extreme scarcity of National Socialistic art
Massive, systematic destruction of Nazi art since 1945: the Potsdam-Agreement
From 1933 to 1949 Germany experienced two massive art purges. Both the National Socialist government and OMGUS (the U.S. Military Government in Germany) were highly concerned with controlling what people saw and how they saw it. The Nazis eliminated what they called ‘Degenerate art’, erasing the pictorial traces of turmoil and heterogeneity that they associated with modern art. The Western Allies in turn eradicated ‘Nazi art’ and forbade all artworks military subjects or themes that could have military and/or chauvinist symbolism from pictorial representation. Both the Third Reich and OMGUS utilized the visual arts as instruments for the construction of new German cultural heritages.
The Potsdam Agreement of 2 August 1945, subparagraph 3, Part III, Section A stated that one purpose of the occupation of Germany was ‘to destroy the National Socialistic Party and its affiliated and supervised organizations and to dissolve all Nazi and militaristic activity or propaganda.’ In accordance with Allied Control Council laws and military government regulations, all documents and objects which might tend to revitalize the Nazi spirit or German militarism would be confiscated or destroyed. For example, Title 18, Military Government Regulation, OMGUS stated that: ‘all collections of works of art related or dedicated to the perpetuation of German militarism or Nazism will be closed permanently and taken into custody.’ As a consequence, thousands of paintings –portraits of Nazi-leaders, paintings containing a swastika or depicting military/war sceneries– were considered ‘of no value’ and destroyed. With knives, fires and hammers, they smashed countless sculptures and burned thousands of paintings. Around 8,722 artworks were shipped to military deposits in the U.S.
OMGUS regulated and censored the art world. The Information Control Division (ICD, the key structure in the political control of post-war German culture in the American zone) was in fact a non-violent version of the Reichskulturkammer (Reich Chamber of Culture). With its seven subdivisions (i.e. press, literature, radio, film, theatre, music, and art), the ICD neatly replaced the Reich Chamber of Culture. The ICD established through its various sections a system of licensed activity, with screening and vetting by Intelligence to exclude all politically undesirable people.

‘Free’ German artists producing ‘free German art’ after 1945
In the ideology of OMGUS, painting was conceived of as a strategic element in the campaign to politically re-educate the German people for a new democratic internationalism. Modern art allowed for the establishment of an easy continuity with the pre-Nazi modernist past, and it could serve as a springboard for the international projection of Germany as a new country interacting with its new Western partners.
‘Free’ artists producing ‘free art’ was one of the most powerful symbols of the new Germany, the answer to the politically controlled art of the Third Reich. Modern art linked Western Germany to Western Europe – separating the new West German aesthetic and politics from that of the Nazi era, the U.S.S.R., and East Germany – and suggested an ‘authentically’ German identity.


Left: Arno Breker, 'Vergeltung' ('Revenge'), depicted in the 'Völkischer Beobachter', 1943, after the lost Battle of Stalingrad.
Right: Arno Breker, postcard*, 'Vergeltung'.
  


Hermann Göring Collection

Hermann Görings entire art collection comprised some 4,263 paintings, sculptures and tapestries. He planned to display them in the ‘Norddeutsche Galerie’, an art gallery which should be created after the war. The Norddeutsche Gallery was to be erected as an annex to Karinhall in the big forest of the Schorfheide, near Berlin. According to the website of the German Historical Museum, the following works by Arno Breker were part of the collection: ‘Morgenröte’ and ‘Schreitende’ (life size bronzes, both cast in Paris), ‘Anmut’ (marble) and a Horse-relief (high-relief, bronze, 125 x 100 cm, also cast in Paris).




       
Arno Breker
The Michelangelo of the Third Reich
Arno Breker (1900 – 1991) was a German sculptor, best known for his public works in Nazi Germany, which were endorsed by the authorities as the antithesis of degenerate art. During his time in Paris in the twenties and early thirties he was influenced by Jean Cocteau, Jean Renoir, Pablo Picasso and Aristide Maillol, who was later to describe Breker as 'Germany's Michelangelo'. He maintained personal relationships with Albert Speer and with Hitler. In 1937 Breker joined the Nazi Party and was made 'official state sculptor' by Hitler. He was given a large property and provided a studio with forty-three assistants. As main sculptor and more or less number one on the Gottbegnadeten list, he was exempted from military service. His twin sculptures The Party and The Army held a prominent position at the entrance to Albert Speer's new Reich Chancellery. 
Arno Breker was represented at the Great German Art Exhibitions with 42 works. The neoclassical nature of his work, with titles like Comradschip, Torchbearer and Sacrifice, typified Nazi ideals, and suited the characteristics of Nazi architecture. On closer inspection, though, the proportions of his figures, the highly colorful treatment of his surfaces (the strong contrasts between dark and light accents), and the melodramatic tension of their musculatures perhaps invites comparison with the Italian Mannerist sculptors of the 16th century. While nearly all of his sculptures survived World War II, more than 90% of his public work was destroyed by the Allies after the war.
Arno Breker had 10 sculptures displayed at the XXI Venice Biennale, 1938 and the XXII Venice Biennale, 1940, including ‘Pronti’ (‘Bereitschaft’, GDK 1939), ‘Ricardo Wagner’ (‘Bust of Richard Wagner’, GDK 1941), and ‘Ponderazione’ (‘Berufung’, GDK 1941). Four works by Breker were part of the art collection of Hermann Göring and destinated for the 'Norddeutsche Gallery'.
In 1946 Breker was offered a commission by Joseph Stalin but he refused and stated 'One dictatorship is sufficient for me'. 
After the war he continued to receive commissions for sculptures, producing a number of works in his familiar classical style, working for businesses and individual patrons. He also produced many bronze female sculptures, in smaller sizes. Some of these were casts from original models designed before 1945. His works can be seen in the Breker Museum in Schloss Nörvenich in Germany.

* As also stated in our General Terms and Conditions, German Art Gallery offers the depicted postcards for sale. Prices on request.