The Reader, 1936
About the object
Barlach wrote in 1891 that the artist's job was to »paint the soul«. Barlach's »reader« also exudes this search for the expression of something externally invisible. The figure, who is immersed in his book, probably belongs to Barlach's themed series of reading monks. The closed shape, which is emphasised by the round back and the limbs tucked into the body, is disrupted by the reader's sweeping line of vision over the top edge of the book.