Käthe Kollwitz

Käthe Kollwitz (German 1865 – 1945)

Born in Russia under the maiden name Schmidt, Käthe Kollwitz studied art in Berlin. There she met and married Dr. Karl Kollwitz, who ran a children’s clinic in a poverty-stricken neighborhood. This environment stemmed the social messages in Kollwitz’s paintings. She created a monument in Flanders to the soldiers who died in World War I, after her son was killed in battle. In 1928, Kollwitz was the first woman to admitted to the Prussian Academy of Arts, but the Nazis forced her withdrawal in 1933. Ten years later, most of her work was destroyed in an air raid. However, from what was left of her powerfully social works, she is remembered for her carvings and bronze sculpture. One of the greatest graphic artists of all time, Kollwitz, the granddaughter of a radical preacher and the daughter of a union organizer, a pacifist, a lover of children, and a socialist, spent her life in an autocratic state which, whether ruled by the Kaiser or the Nazis, hated everything for which she stood. The two prints shown at German ExpressionismDer Agitationsredner / The Agitator (Kl. 224) and Verbrüderung / Fraternal love (Kl. 199b)—seem to sum up the possibilities that Kollwitz foresaw for her country in the 1920s, either to follow those voices inciting hatred and setting each against the other or to find a way for all to live together in loving harmony. Kollwitz’s art shows us one who responded to her country’s choice with anguished protest, as if each print might finally be the one to bring Germany back to her senses.

“An der kirchenmauer / By the Church wall: Self-Portrait”, Kathe Kollwitz
Original etching, 1893. Edition: from the von der Becke edition after 1931 with his drystamp.
 (Kl. 19 VIb). According to Otto Nagel, author of the standard works on Kollwitz’ self-portraits and on her drawings, although based upon a woman she saw, she has given the woman in the print her own features, making this is a self-portrait. Image size: 9 ¾” x 4 ¾’.       $1750.00
“Die Gefangenen / The Prisoners” Kollwitz, Kathe (German (1867-1945)                         
Original etching and soft ground, 1908. Edition: published after 1931 by Von der Becke with his drystamp, this is Plate 7 of Kollwitz’ Peasants’ War cycle.The defeated prisoners have been herded together for punishment and execution. One of her most frequently exhibited prints. Image size: 327x423mm. (Kl. 98 VIIIb, Knesebeck 102 IXb /X).
“Gesenkter Frauenkopf-Woman With Bowed Head”, Kathe Kollwitz (German 1867-1945)
Etching, drypoint, roulette and soft ground, ca. 1905. From a Von der Becke edition. 15” x 12 ½”
Klipstein 77, Knesebeck 94, vib/VIb.
“Hamburger Kniepe / Hamburg Tavern”, Kathe Kollwitz (German 1865-1945)
Original soft-ground etching and aquatint, before mid-June, 1901. Edition: from the posthumouos edition of unknown size published by von der Becke between 1946/48 and 1963/65 on thick, soft vellum with von der Becke’s three-line Berlin-Halensee embossed seal. In a rare moment, Kollwitz here captures the amusement of two men dancing in a pub while a laughing woman watches them. Image size: 192x247mm.  (Kl. 58 iv c/d, Knesebeck 55 IVc of IVd).     $2000.00
“Stehender Weiblicher Akt -Standing Female Nude)” Kathe Kollwitz (German 1867-1945)
Original line etching with drypoint, 1900, with 2-line blindstamp lower right: A.V.D. BECKE / MUENCHEN – 22, dating this to 1922.  $950.00
“Weberzug / The March of the Weavers”, Kollwitz, Kathe (German (1867-1945)                                                
Original etching and sandpaper aquatint, 1897. From the von der Becke edition after 1931 with the publisher’s drystamp. Fine impression on wove paper. Plate 4 of The Revolt of the Weavers. This is one of Kollwitz’ most frequently illustrated prints. Image size: 214x297mm, in excellent condition, although sheet is trimmed down from original size. (Kl. 32 iii/iii). $1400.00