Käthe Kollwitz, Woman with Dead Child, (1903)

I find Käthe Kollwitz’s work interesting and unique especially the lithographs and the etchings. For example the incisive lithographs are more of imagery or metaphoric in nature as they speak about things whose meanings are hidden yet open for every artists to see and understand (Getlein 109). Personally, I find her work communicating effectively as she expresses her emotions and feelings about the happenings in her environment. However, her etchings were also unique and I find her etching work- Woman with Dead Child (1903; Washington, DC, Lib. Conger.), more convincing as it demonstrated the experience of every mother. The etched artwork of a naked mother with a child on her lap is riveting and emotional; her work can be considered as part of expressionism as it relates to her dead children and siblings. Being part of the expressionist movement, she spoke in terms of pictures and in particular used soft ground etching with dry point, proof impression worked up with graphite, charcoal, and gold wash

Her expression is social realism as she mostly painted, and printed pictures about special problems such as the death of family members, women and inequality. The visual characteristics of the work include the sad looking naked female figure and a comatose or sleeping child who is probably dead. People say that her expression to that of a grieving mothers for her child-(her three siblings died), or probably a self-image of her and her dead son or her and her grandchild. The image often-female figure is in mourning as she is sad. There is reflective of the medium because it is argued that her works were inspired by the real life experiences such as th4 death of family member, the human suffering during the world war, gender issues and social problems. I was drawn to the specific piece because of the artistic work of the embrace, the use of lines to indicate masculinity. Her combination o the shape and shade tend to communicate energy between the mother and the dead child (Prelinger 42)


Getlein, Mark: Living with Art. NY, NY: McGraw-Hill, 9thEdition. (2009). Print

Kurth, Willy: Käthe Kollwitz, Geleitwort zum Katalog der Ausstellung in der Deutschen Akademie der Künste. (1951)

Elizabeth Prelinger: Kãthe Kollwitz. New Haven, Yale University Press). (1922). Print


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