Head of a Youth / Bust of Ascending Youth, undated
Leopold Museum, Vienna
Head of a Youth / Bust of Ascending Youth undated
(Meiderich near Duisburg 1881–1919 Berlin)
Currently on display at OG3
The youth is inclining his head in an earnest and reserved manner. His angular face bears a thoughtful, calm expression. The lean and elongated neck gives the bust a delicate, fragile air. The beholder cannot help but wonder about the dark thoughts that are tormenting the youth. The bust is an autonomous work associated with the sculpture Ascending Youth, created by the German sculptor Wilhelm Lehmbruck (1881–1919) in the years 1913/14. This sculpture is over two meters high and represents a monumental ascending figure, gazing downwards. While the full figure is striking for its dramatic staging in the surrounding space and conveys an immediate experience of tension between two opposing poles, the bust of the youth represents the compression of his momentary psychological expression. The groundbreaking Expressionist sculpture shows a concept of humanity that is paralleled in the works of Egon Schiele (1890–1918). That was presumably why the German art collector Karl Ernst Osthaus exhibited works by both artists simultaneously in Hagen in 1912.