Objectives and tasks
Wilhelm Lehmbruck's "Große Sinnende" was created in Paris in 1913, was probably exhibited four times during the artist's lifetime and then came to the Staatsgalerie on permanent loan. The artist's work is difficult to grasp from today's perspective, as Lehmbruck himself only documented his work to a limited extent. Over the years, his sculptures such as the "Große Sinnende" have been given different designations, which has made it difficult to attribute them.
The "Große Sinnende" in the Staatsgalerie, which is an example of Lehmbruck's emancipation from classical figure size, is a plaster cast that was damaged in the 20th century by storage in a changeably humid environment. Inadequate, rough cleaning in the 1950s led to the desolate condition that required restoration in the Wüstenrot Foundation's Schauatelier. In addition to the restoration of the work, art-technological investigations were to provide information about the history of the "Große Sinnierende".
Information about the object
Title: Die große Sinnierende
Dimensions: 208.0 x 41.5 x 43.0 cm
Restoration period: 2018
Methodology and procedure
The "Große Sinnende" by Wilhelm Lehmbruck, which has been on loan to the museum since 1960, was acquired for the collection of the Staatsgalerie in 2017. At that time, the oversized figure was not in a presentable condition, so it was restored by the restorer and Lehmbruck expert Peter Bux in the Wüstenrot Foundation's show studio before being presented. The reason for the examination and restoration was the dirt disfiguring the overall image as well as a pronounced network of cracks and fissures in the cast sculpture. In order to obtain a realistic impression of the sculpture's stability for the first time, it was "x-rayed" using a mobile x-ray system.
It was now possible to see that reinforcing irons had been used inside it and where they were located. Scientific analyses of the cast material as well as of isolated remains of mounts also proved that the figure was once completely pink and had been reworked several times. After the examinations, the soiling could be reduced with laser technology as well as with moist microporous sponge and disturbing discolourations could be retouched with watercolour. The result of the restoration was shown in the exhibition "Wilhelm Lehmbruck. Variation and Perfection" in 2018 and is now on permanent display in the collection of the Staatsgalerie.