In The Man with the Waterskin by George Minne we see a thin, sinewy man lifting a leather water bag to pour water. This is one of the few sculptures for which Minne made a series of preliminary drawings. They are in a sketchbook dated 1897-1898, which is also in the museum collection. In the sketches we see how Minne develops the composition from a baptism scene. Although in Christian symbolism water is the source of life, at the fin de siècle it represented the descent into the primal waters within us, a descent that leads to self-knowledge. This ambiguity is typical of Minnes art.