Gallery - Sculptures

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The sphinx in sand
as a symbol of what was to be lost

The beach at Wismar 1924 – Hess with his friend Lola next to the sculpture in sand

(dma) - The dispersal of Hess’ works, due mainly to his constant wanderings to avoid Nazi persecution, concerned not only his paintings, water-colours and graphic art but above all his sculptures: it was far less practical to move these during his journeys back and forth between exile in Sicily and Switzerland. One of Hess’ most singular sculptures can be seen to have had  almost prophetic significance: “Sphinx with Lola’s face” was made using the sand of a beach on the Baltic Sea in homage to a friend during a holiday in Wismar in the summer of 1924.

By its very nature the sculpture was ephemeral, but it was captured in this photograph along with the artist and his model. On the back of the photo Hess wrote the inscription “Lola und ich in Cairo”, as if it had been taken in Egypt. But the Sphinx in the sands was nothing more than a mocking forewarning of the fate that was to befall so many of the artist’s works in the decades to come. We know they existed,  but we no longer know if they still exist and, if so, where.


Works in Terracotta

Busts of Marya Neitzel and her three sons – life-size - (Munich 1926) - Lost works


Heads of two Sicilian boys (Messina 1927)
Lost works

Two views of a head of Carl Kaspar, exhibited in 1926 at the Galerie Paulus in Munich - Lost work


Pair of heads – life-size (Munich 1928) Lost works

Head of a girl – life-size (Munich 1928)
Lost work

Head of a woman (Munich 1928)
Lost work


Head of Edoardo Balmer
(Basel 1938) - Lost work

Bust of  Lotte Schutzner
(Liestal, Basel 1938) - Lost work

Bust of a woman with the model alongside and another bust (Liestal, Basel 1938) Lost works


Plaster casts

Female nudes – life-size (Munich 1932) Lost works



Heads of Frau Schöfer and her son Jürge
life-size (Munich 1932) Lost works

Hess’ niece Luisa alongside one of his sculptures.  On the same terrace another sculpture in front of a fresco (Messina 1932) Lost works


Sculptures in wood

Crucifix – 73 cm high, outspread arms 65 cm (Lucerne 1934) Private collection Rome

Head 21 x 12 cm
(Lucerne 1934)
Private collection


Reclining woman - relief 16 x 28 x 5 cm (Lucerne 1934)
Private collection - Sicily

Reclining man - relief 15 x 28 x 5 cm (Lucerne 1934)
Private collection - Sicily


 Lucerne 1934 – (Left) Christian Hess carves the head of a “devil” for the puppet theatre. (Right) His wife Cecile. Behind her on the wall are a puppet and Hess’ painting “Park with red seat”.