Uprising (Aufruhr)

Käthe Kollwitz German

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Kollwitz engaged themes of social justice throughout her career, drawing on the hardships experienced by the working classes as a frequent subject. In Uprising, Kollwitz applied her virtuosic handling of etching, drypoint, and aquatint techniques to render masses of peasants following a standard-bearer who charges forward, leading the people. An allegorical female nude, the personification of Revolution, flies above them. She turns her head toward the left to look at the burning castle, which she appears to have set on fire with her torch. Uprising is directly related to Kollwitz’s print portfolio Peasants’ War (1901–8). She based the portfolio on the peasant revolt in Germany in the 1520s, when hundreds of thousands of peasants fought for greater economic and religious freedom during the Protestant Reformation.

Uprising (Aufruhr), Käthe Kollwitz (German, Kaliningrad (Königsberg) 1867–1945 Moritzburg), Etching, drypoint, and aquatint; seventh state of nine

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