* 20 March 1888 in Glatz (Silesia); † 22 April 1965 in Berlin
Renate Alice Sintenis, who later calls herself Renée Sintenis, is among the most successful sculptresses of the 1920s and 1930s. In 1907 she begins her studies at the teaching wing of the Berlin School of Arts and Crafts Museum but has to withdraw in 1909/10 for financial reasons. She becomes acquainted with Georg Kolbe, for whom she models from 1910, and many years of friendship follow. At the Autumn-Exhibition of the Free Secession 1913 in Berlin she is represented with three plaster sculptures. From 1915 she creates animal figures which become the key subject of her creative work. In December 1917 she marries the painter and illustrator Emil Rudolf Weiß. Her career is launched in 1920 with an exhibition at Alfred Flechtheim’s gallery in Düsseldorf. Presentations in Paris, Brussels, London and New York make her internationally known. In 1931 she is appointed to the Prussian Academy of Arts, which is, then, in 1934 forced to expel her because of the National Socialists’ rise to power. During the Hitler dictatorship the artist lives a withdrawn life. After the capitulation of Hitler Germany, her studio is completely destroyed by arson. In 1948 Karl Hofer appoints Renée Sintenis to the Berlin School of Fine Arts where she teaches the master class in animal sculpture until 1955. She presents her work in numerous exhibitions. In 1957 the life-size bronze sculpture of the emblematic "Berlin Bear" was created according to her design. The annual prize winners at the Berlin International Film Festival are awarded a miniature sculpture of this animal figure.