An erotically charged early 20th century Art Deco bronze and ivory figure of a seductively dressed young lady holding a riding crop behind her back standing in a domineering pose and wearing a revealing basque with gartered stockings, raised on an oval shaped marble plinth, signed Zach.
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Height: 28 cm
Condition: Excellent Original Condition
Materials: Bronze & Ivory
Book Ref: Art Deco Sculpture by Victor Arwas
Page No: 230
Zach Riding Crop
Zach Riding Crop – Bruno Zach (German, 1891 – 1935) – Bruno Zach was a prolific creator of tall, athletic, independent women in bronze and ivory. He depicted both the healthy outdoor pursuits, and also the dream mistresses of the demi monde of Berlin, Paris and Vienna between the wars. His bronze is occasionally patinated, most often cold painted. His use of ivory is spare and always well carved. His work was edited by several firms, including Argentor-Werke of Vienna the Broma Companie, S Altmann & Co, and Bergmann.
There is an obvious influence of eroticism and sensuality on Bruno Zach’s sculptures such as the Zach Riding Whip figure, there is no question that this was primarily affected by the night life of Berlin in the 1920’s. After World War I cabarets became extremely popular across Europe – and nowhere were they more popular than Germany. The Weimar government’s lifting of censorship saw German cabarets transform and flourish. Entertainment in the cabaret of Berlin was soon dominated by two themes: sex and politics. Stories, jokes, songs and dancing were laced with sexual innuendo. As the 1920s progressed this gave way to open displays of nudity, to the point where most German cabarets had at least some topless dancers. Prostitution was widely accepted and it became ‘de rigeur’ to use their services, whether one was male or female, and the Zach Riding Crop figure with its alluring charm had an undercurrent of lascivious intent.
This was the background in which Bruno Zach
found himself when he moved to Berlin from Austria in 1920 and he immersed himself into the decadent night life with gusto. It is understood that he used many prostitutes as models for his sculptures and fell in love with a particular young lady who took great pleasure in refusing his marriage proposals.
When one considers Bruno Zach’s work with an understanding of the influences that permeated his life at the time, the overt sexuality of his subject matter becomes more acceptable and indeed more interesting.
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