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- Alfred Flechtheim
Art dealer of the Avantgarde

Renée Sintenis

20.03.1888 Glatz - 22.04.1965 Berlin
Alfred Flechtheim and Renée Sintenis

The German sculptress and draughtswoman was descended from Huguenot refugees by the name of Saint-Denis. Sintenis knew that she wanted to be an artist from an early age. She left Gymnasium at the age of 17 without a school-leaving certificate and enrolled at the college of arts and crafts. She started drawing nudes and heads having previously focused primarily on animals. Her small-scale animal sculptures are her most important works. She did, however, also make a number of self-portraits and small statues of athletes. After leaving the Kunstgewerbeschule, also without completing her course, she modelled for the sculptor Georg Kolbe. She met the typographer and painter Emil Rudolf Weiss who later became her husband. Like Karl Hofer, he also enjoyed the financial support of the industrialist Theodor Reinhart of Winterthur, Switzerland. In 1910 Sintenis created her first self-portrait in terracotta based on an etching. In 1913 the artist first exhibited at the Berlin Secession.
In the 1920s she had her greatest success. She was represented by the gallery owner Alfred Flechtheim who staged a number of group exhibitions of sculptures and drawings by the artist between 1920 and 1933. In 1931 Renée Sintenis was the first sculptress to become a member of the Akademie der Künste in Berlin. After being classified a ‘half Jew’ according to the National Socialists’ Nuremberg Laws, the artist was excluded from the Akademie in 1934 although she was allowed to remain in the Reichskulturkammer (Reich Chamber of Culture) and continue to work. Works of hers were confiscated from museums in Berlin, Erfurt, Düsseldorf and Bremen as part of the ‘Degenerate Art’ campaign in 1937. After the war Sintenis worked as a professor at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Berlin. Her large-format sculpture of the Berlin Bear was exhibited in 1957 in Berlin, in 1960 in Düsseldorf and 1962 in Munich. At the Berlinale, small-format silver and gold-plated versions of her Berlin Bear are presented to award-winners.

Sintenis and Flechtheim met before World War I. Even if Flechtheim never organised a solo exhibition for her, she was one of his favourite artists. Among all the German painters and sculptors she was represented time and again very prominently together with Hofer, Levy, Nauen, Purrmann, de Fiori and Haller. Flechtheim can be considered her ‘gallery discoverer’. One of her largest animal sculptures used to stand at the entrance to the Berlin gallery in Lützowufer, underlying the great importance of her art for Flechtheim. Museums and private collectors also bought her works of art in equal measure. 
Individual exhibitons at the Galerie Flechtheim

Group exhibitions at the Galerie Flechtheim

April bis Mai 1920

Otto von Waetjen, Paul Goesch, Renée Sintenis.
Düsseldorf, Königsallee 34 I

Oktober 1921

Deutsche und französische Kunst aus dem XX. Jahrhundert.
Berlin, Lützowufer 13

März–April 1922

Das schwedische Ballett
Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt am Main, (Lützowufer, Königsallee, Gärtnerweg 63)

Mai–Juni 1925

Marie Laurencin. Renée Sintenis
Berlin, Lützowufer 13

Juni–August 1927

Das Problem der Generation. Die um 1880 geborenen Meister von heute. Dritter Teil: Die anderen Deutschen
Berlin, Lützowufer 13

Sommer 1927

Sommer-Ausstellung, Edvard Munch, geb. 1863 in Oslo, lebt in Kragerö, Ölgemälde und Graphik, Thomas Rowlandson (1765 bis 1827) anlässlich des 100. Todestages, Aquarelle und Graphik, Plastik von Carpeaux † / Degas † / de Fiori / Haller / Kolbe / Maillol /
Düsseldorf, Königsallee 34

Juni 1929

Lebende deutsche Kunst aus rheinischem Privatbesitz
Düsseldorf, Königsallee 34

Sommer 1929

Sommer 1929
Berlin W 10, Lützowufer 13 und Düsseldorf

Sommer 1929

Sommer 1929: Rudolf Grossmann und andere
Berlin, Düsseldorf, (Lützowufer, Königsallee)

März–April 1930

Düsseldorf, Königsallee 34

Sommer 1930

Renoir und lebende Meister.
Berlin W 10, Lützowufer 13 und Düsseldorf, Königsallee 34 I

November–Dezember 1930

Seit Liebermann in Deutschland. Aquarelle, Zeichnungen, Graphik
Düsseldorf, Königsallee 34

Dezember 1930

Renée Sintenis, Marie Laurencin, Martel Schwichtenberg, Alexandra Exter
Berlin, Lützowufer 13

Dezember 1931 – Januar 1932

Weihnachten 1931
Berlin, Lützowufer 13

Mai–Juni 1932

111 Porträts zeitgenössischer Künstler. Selbstbildnisse. Bildnisse von Malern, Dichtern, Schauspielern, Musikern, Boxern usw.
Berlin, Lützowufer 13

Dezember 1932 – Januar 1933

Lebendige deutsche Kunst. Ausstellungsfolge in drei Abteilungen. Veranstaltet von Paul Cassirer und Alfred Flechtheim. Erste Ausstellung beim Kunstsalon Paul Cassirer
Berlin, Viktoriastraße 35