Käthe Kollwitz

Photo: then Käthe Schmidt, taken in 1889 at the Munich Academy.

German printmaker and sculptor. Received her first art tuition from Rudolph Mauer in Königsberg in 1881. Continued training in Berlin under Karl Stauffer-Bern and under Ludwig Herterich in Munich. Influenced by the prints of Max Klinger... she devoted herself to this form and gave up painting after 1890. She first produced etchings and lithographs but later also woodcuts. ...

Kollwitz was indebted stylistically to naturalism, but her preferred subject-matter was linked to the emerging workers’ movement. Her prints on themes of social comment were carried out predominantly in black and white. However, her training as a painter had initially exerted considerable influence on her style. This changed around the turn of the century. Abandoning natural surroundings, she concentrated on different ways of representing the human body. It was then that a sculptural sensibility became decisive for her graphic forms... After completing a series of 7 etchings entitled Peasant War (1902–8; Washington, DC, N.G.A.) she began to create her own sculptures from 1910.

...Although primarily a printmaker, the importance of sculpture in her work must not be underestimated.... As a printmaker and sculptor alike, Kollwitz was a slow worker....The events of World War II caused Kollwitz to leave Berlin in 1943. Although a large portion of her work was stored in cellars, many of them were still lost when her house was destroyed in November 1943.

Josephine Gabler, From Grove Art Online, © 2009 Oxford University Press

READ MORE AT http://www.moma.org/collection/artist.php?artist_id=3201

"Kollwitz made self-portraits throughout her career, recording her anxieties as a mother and her grief as a witness to the devastation of poverty, war, and social injustice." https://www.moma.org/learn/moma_learning/kathe-kollwitz-self-portrait-hand-at-the-forehead-selbstbildnis-mit-der-hand-an-der-stirn-1910-published-c-19461948
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First Collected by

Lee H. Mee


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