Käthe Kollwitz German
Publisher Emil Richter, Dresden German

Not on view

Eschewing the historical narratives and detailed compositions of her earlier work, Kollwitz created prints that became iconic images of grief and trauma. In Mothers, women and children of various ages huddle together, their linked bodies forming a solid structure that fills the composition. Kollwitz drew herself in the center, eyes closed and arms wrapped protectively around her two sons: Hans, the elder, and Peter, who was killed in combat at eighteen. The artist wrote about this work with pride and tenderness in a letter of February 1919: "I have drawn the mother who embraces her two children; I am with my own children, born from me, my Hans and my Peterchen."

Mothers, Käthe Kollwitz (German, Kaliningrad (Königsberg) 1867–1945 Moritzburg), Lithograph

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