German Bronze Don Quixote by Oskar Garvens

Featuring Don Quixote

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    Featuring Fictional Character Don Quixote 

    From our Sculpture collection, we are delighted to offer this German Bronze featuring Don Quixote. The Bronze cast in a styled naturalistic form as a horse and rider bearing a jousting pole. The Bronze modelled as Don Quixote from the early 17th century Spanish novel by Miguel de Cervantes. The Horse and rider almost cartoon in casting with curved edges giving it a soft finish stood upon a raised black marble plinth signed Osk. Garvens (Oskar Theodor Garvens) with the foundry mark AKT-GES vorm H.Gladenbeck.Berlin. The Sculpture dates to the early 20th century right between the Jugendstil period in Germany and the later Art Deco period circa 1915.

    Don Quixote is a Spanish novel by Miguel de Cervantes. It was originally published in 1605 and 1615 with two parts. It is widely considered a founding work of Western literature and is often labelled as the first modern novel and one of the greatest works ever written. Along with its esteemed notoriety Don Quixote is one of the most-translated books in the world and one of the best-selling novels of all time.

    The plot revolves around the adventures of a member of the lowest nobility, a gentleman from La Manchanamed Alonso Quijano, who reads so many chivalric romances that he loses his mind and decides to become a medieval knight to revive chivalry and serve his nation. He does so under the name Don Quixote de la Mancha (Don Quixote of La Mancha). He recruits a simple farm labourer named Sancho Panza as his squire who brings a unique and earthy wit to Don Quixote’s lofty rhetoric. In the first part of the book, Don Quixote does not see the world for what it is and prefers to imagine that he is living out a knightly story meant for the annals of all time.

    The book had a major influence on the literary community, as evidenced by direct references in ‘The Three Musketeers’ by Alexandre Dumas and Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac,  as well as the word quixotic. Mark Twain referred to the book as having “swept the world’s admiration for the mediaeval chivalry-silliness out of existence”.

    Oskar Theodor Garvens (1874-1951) was a German born sculptor and caricaturist. He was born in Hanover Lower Saxony in the norther half of Germany and was educated at the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich. Garvens was a supporter of traditional schools of art and was known to have mocked cubism in particular as a modern movement. In 1911, Garvens married Margarete Unger, and they had two children, Klaus and Ursula. Garvens sometimes signed his work with a monogram of a small letter “o” inside a larger capital “G”. He died in Berlin in 1951.

    Aktien-Gesellschaft Gladenbeck was founded in 1851 in Berlin, Germany. The business operated under its founder Carl Gustav Hermann Gladenbeck. It became known for its extremely high quality bronze castings and was one of the most important foundries in Germany if not the most important and leading foundry in Germany. Some of the earliest bronze sculptures from the foundry were marked “Gladenbeck” later castings over the years were marked “Gladenbeck und Sohn”, “Akt-Ges v.H. Gladenbeck”, “Akt-Ges Gladenbeck Berlin” or “Aktien-Gesellschaft Gladenbeck”.

    The foundry cast most of the best known bronze sculptures by German artists from the mid-to-late 19th century to the early 20th century.  In 1913 the foundry cast the monumental Confederate Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery.

    In 1910, Gladenbeck cast the Three Dancing Maidens which is also known as Untermyer fountain by sculptor Walter Schott. The fountain is located in Conservatory Garden, Central Park, New York. In the early 1920s, art deco master Ferdinand Preiss employed Gladenbeck to cast many of his bronze and chryselephantine sculptures of which many are extremely popular today.

    Bronze is an alloy consisting primarily of copper with approximately 12–12.5% tin and often with the addition of other metals (including aluminium, manganese, nickel, or zinc) and sometimes non-metals, such as phosphorus, or metalloids such as arsenic or silicon depending on the age of the bronze and its origin. The additions of other metals produce a range of alloys that are usually harder than copper alone and carry useful properties such as strength. The earliest known use of bronze dates to the 5th millennium BCE from Iranian plateau, the bronze mix consists of arsenical copper and copper-arsenide. The earliest tin-copper-alloy recovered is dated to circa 4650 BCE and was found in Plocnik, Serbia. It is believed to have been smelted from a natural tin-copper ore.

    Measurements 48cm High x 43cm Long x 18cm Wide ( 18.9 x 16.93 x 7.1 Inches)

    Condition Excellent antique condition.

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