These early drawings and caricatures of Ernst Barlach present a hitherto unknown aspect of the artist. Barlach realised at a very young age that he wanted to be a sculptor; however for a long period of time, he did not know how to achieve this goal. He was disappointed by his studies in Hamburg, it was only in Dresden und Paris that Barlach freed himself from academic restrictions and found "the simple form". The catalogue for the exhibition in the Lyonel Feiniger Gallery brings together works from this phase of his artistic transition: these are persuasive works, produced with great mastery and also with a lightness of touch. Barlach’s path towards this reduction of form was set in motion when he set off for Russia in the summer of 1906. Here, he created a great number of sketches of simple rural life, portrayed in a simplified block-like style. Soon after his return, Barlach used these sketches to develop his characteristic sculptural style. The works presented here also show, however, how this new form of expression influenced the caricatures Barlach drew for "Simplicissimus" after his return from Russia.