Käthe Kollwitz

Germany, b.1867, d.1945

Tod Greift In Kinderschar

  • Purchased with assistance from the Olive Stirrat Bequest, 1988
  • Lithograph
  • 650 x 535mm
  • 88/116
  • 1934

Anticipating the advent of the Second World War, Käthe Kollwitz shows Death taking innocent young children as its victims. This work was the third in a cycle of eight large lithographs that Kollwitz completed between 1934 and 1935 on the theme of death. Kollwitz was one of the most powerful and influential German graphic artists. She used the lithographic medium for its ability to create areas of tone and still carry strong lines. Kollwitz did not use colour, relying on her vigorously clear and articulate lines to express her powerful themes. Kollwitz (née Schmidt) was born in East Prussia. She and her doctor husband settled in the slums of Berlin, the source of much of her imagery. In 1919 Kollwitz was the first woman artist to be elected to the Prussian Academy in Berlin. When the Nazis came to power, however, although Kollwitz’ art was not formally classified as ‘degenerate’, she was not allowed to exhibit and her work was removed from public galleries.