Heinrich Janke

Maker of the Stooping Man (der Gebeugte, 1982) and the Praying Woman (die Betende, 1984)

Born in Graudenz, Prussia, 4th July 1930

Married with one daughter, lives in the Lahn-Dill district of Hesse, Germany

Designer and sculpturer

Apprenticeship as a carpenter

Studied sculpture and design at the university in Hanover

Studied under Hermann Scheuernstuhl and Düsseldorf sculpturer Mataré

Joined the optics firm Ernst Leitz in Wetzlar in 1954 and became head designer; he created the red dot found on every Leica camera

Retired in 1989 but continues to work in the preservation of memorials around Lahn-Dill, as well as archaeological research and publishing

Heinrich Janke used to produce up to two sculptures a month depending on how much spare time he had; he now produces on average five to six works a year, and challenges viewers by reducing the lines of a piece to an almost unbearable minimum

Heinrich Janke loves Wetzlar and its environs and is proud the town honoured his 80th birthday with a major exhibition - a second one being planned for his 85th next year between 25th September and 25th October 2015

His work is in collections across Germany and abroad


  • 1986 Letter of Commendation (Ehrenbrief) from the state of Hesse
  • 2001 Federal Cross of Merit (Bundesverdienstkreuz)
  • 2007 Honorary prize for committment to the preservation of memorials

Professor Dr. Jürgen Erbach and his partner Kristof Heil have collected several Janke bronzes over the years; he approached Heinrich Janke about his idea of borrowing die Betende and der Gebeugte for his photography project, to which the enthused artist readily consented