Happy Birthday Ernst Barlach! German sculptor Ernst Barlach was born in 1870 on this day. Akin to Gauguin, Barlach discovers inspiration from the peasants of Russia (as Gauguin does from islanders of the Pacific) believing man to be at the mercy of outside forces. His sculptures seem to emerge from massive blocks of wood or bronze. The Avenger, is a prime example of action dictated by an invisible force. Barlach sculpted this work at the beginning of World War I (when he was a German national) and is said to represent the unstoppable might of the German army. A wooden version of the bronze, as well as other war memorials sculpted by the artist, were confiscated by the Nazis in the late 1930’s, believed to be “offensive to the National sensibility”.