Kathe Kollwitz

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Kathe Kollwitz was the first artist who made me find HER!  I saw some statuary in a World War I cemetery and I had to find the artist.  I knew there was a story.  Here’s what You Baroque My Heart put up about her life.  Some of her expressionist drawings are at the link.  Fascinating!  Look at the body shapes and the faces.  I think these grieving parents look even more tortured from the back.

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the Kollwitz was a German expressionist artist who lived from 1867 – 1945. She is a very well known and respected female printmaker who captured life’s sorrows in her work. She began etching in 1880 and eventually taught at the Berlin School of Women Artists from 1898 to 1903.

I scanned the images above from the book “Käthe Kollwitz: Works in Color.”

In 1891 she married Dr. Karl Kollwitz. The couple moved into their new home in a section of Berlin that was filled with poverty. Witnessing the lower class life, Kollwitz developed her socialist and pacifist beliefs which became obvious in her later work.

Kollwitz outlived most of her family. Her son died in World War I and her grandson in World War II. When speaking about her son’s death, she told a friend, “There is in our lives a wound which will never heal. Nor should it.” These loses greatly affected her beliefs even more. Her art work repeats themes of poverty, hard working people, the lives of women and war.

During World War II the Nazis labeled her work as “degenerate” and forbid her to exhibit any of her art. Other artists had fled the country yet Kollwitz stayed in Berlin, despite the Nazis’ censorship.

As Kollwitz was reaching the end of her life, she knew she was going. In a letter she wrote, “War accompanies me to the end.” She passed away two weeks before the end of World War II.

Kathe Kollwitz s1 Kathe Kollwitz statues

 

 

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