Special exhibition art museum

Renée SintenisPioneer of sculpture

She was considered the face of the Weimar Republic and, with her fashionable short hairstyle, a model for the “new woman”: Renée Sintenis, a pioneer of sculpture. Whether on a horseback ride in the Tiergarten or behind the wheel of her own car  ̶  in 1920s Berlin, the tall and androgynous-looking artist made a big impression.

In her sculptural work, Sintenis preferred the small format. In small sculptures, she initially devoted herself to the female nude and soon mainly to animal sculptures. To follow her profession, she broke with her family.

Exhibition view „Renée Sintenis“ in the Edwin Scharff Museum
Exhibition view „Renée Sintenis“ in the Edwin Scharff Museum. For the works of Renée Sintenis: © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020. Photo Edwin Scharff Museum, Nik Schölzel

But the sculptor also knows how to illustrate the powerful forward dynamics of a polo player or the tense concentration of popular boxers. Therefore her trenchant, gripping portrayals of athletes are at the same time an expressive testimony to the sporting enthusiasm of the time. Penetrating self-portraits and the portraits of friends full of character, including the poet Joachim Ringelnatz, additionally promote interest in her artistic work. With the sculpture of “Daphne” the artist also creates one of the most impressive mythological embodiments of the time.

Jagendes Shetlandpony, 1937
Jagendes Shetlandpony, 1937, Bronze, Foto: Bernd Sinterhauf, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020
Renée Sintenis Daphne 1917
Renée Sintenis Daphne 1917 Bronze Sammlung Karl H. Knauf, Berlin Foto: Bernd Sinterhauf, Berlin © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020

After drastic years of inner emigration, Renée Sintenis finally became an ambassador for the city she loved so much in the 1950s with her sculpture of the Berlin Bär (Berlin Bear). To this day, this creation remains a much sought-after and world-famous trophy of the Berlin Film Festival.

Renée Sintenis auf Sylt
Renée Sintenis auf Sylt, Bildarchiv Georg Kolbe Museum Berlin, Nachlass Renée Sintenis

exhibition folder (in German)


Header image: Renée Sintenis, Hunting Shetland pony, 1937, bronze, Photo: Bernd Sinterhauf, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020

Short guided video tour
Would you like to meet one of the most fascinating female sculptors of the 20th century? In a short guided video tour Julia Gmehlin gives you an introduction to Renée Sintenis, the creator of the Berlinale Bear and many more sculptures of animals and athletes.

Guided Tours, workshops and events to the exhibition Renée Sintenis

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