Sober, ascetic design
For many years, George Minne worked on the theme of the kneeling, introverted youth. In this, he sought maximum expression with minimal means. Kneeling youth is the culmination of his quest for an ascetic, stylized line and simple design.
The Flemish sculptor does not strive for anatomical correctness. The figure of the fragile youth is elongated, as it were, and his hands and head appear too large for his fragile body. The bowed head and arms folded in front of the chest give the sculpture a mystical and somewhat religious character.
Kneeling youth is Minne’s most famous sculpture. He created variations in plaster, bronze and marble. Furthermore, he was commissioned by a German collector for a figure group with five identical kneeling youths on the edge of a circular basin. This Fountain with kneeling youths is in the Museum Folkwang in Essen.