The vulnerable, introverted young man constituted a recurring theme in George Minne's work The Relic Bearer 1897 and was later used for his famous fountains featuring young males in Essen, Ghent and Brussels. In this statue we see a young male kneeling in contrition carrying the metaphorical burden of his faith expressed by a relic in his hands. The statue is solemn, empowering and impassioned.
George Minne (1866 - 1941) - Minne was a great admirer of Rodin, but was rejected as a pupil -- to his chagrin -- and given the sound advice to seek out his own path. He did so and founded the group of mystical symbolists. Symbolism had developed in France as a response to Impressionism and Social Realism. In a certain sense it was a return to Romanticism, but in a still, modes form and much more subjective, replete with deep mystical ideals.