Monday, April 23, 2012

Only One’s Inner Feelings Represent the Truth.

Yesterday marked the 67th anniversary of Käthe Kollwitz’s death.  So in her honor, I wanted to post a few images representing just a peek into her life’s work.  Undoubtedly one of the most important female artists of the modern age, Kollwitz's art speaks a language universally understood.  

Self Portrait, 1923 via Spaightwood Galleries.

Born in Königsberg, East Prussia (in 1867), she began taking drawing lessons at just twelve years old.  When she was old enough to attend college, she enrolled in the Women’s Art School in Berlin.  Traditional colleges and other academies did not accept women at this time.  In 1891, she married Dr. Karl Kollwitz and the two of them settled in one of the poorer sections of North Berlin.  Her daily life in this working class area offered invaluable inspiration for her work.  The dark, oppressive subject matter which Kollwitz frequently referenced was both personally revealing and socially relevant. 

Riot, 1897 via Ro Gallery.

Uprising, 1899 via Ro Gallery.

Although her life was riddled with heartache and hardship, she transformed her pain into timeless works of art which we can truly appreciate today.   I am lucky enough to own a later edition etching of her piece, The Prisoners, from the series, Peasant War.

The Prisoners, 1921 via Etching Fitness.

To read more about the fascinating artist that is Käthe Kollwitz, visit Käthe-Kollwitz-Museum Berlin online.

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