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Käthe Kollwitz
Käthe Kollwitz
Käthe Kollwitz
Käthe Kollwitz
Käthe Kollwitz
Käthe Kollwitz
Käthe Kollwitz

Käthe Kollwitz

Created between the end of the 19th century and over the course of two world wars, Käthe Kollwitz’s prints contain scores of worn faces, broken backs, hungry, hollow-eyed mobs and sick babies. These are lives she saw first-hand.

Käthe Kollwitz (1867–1945), a leading 20th century German artist, was known for her drawings, prints, and sculptures. In a career spanning more than five decades in a largely male-dominated art world, Kollwitz developed powerful and emotional imagery based on her own experiences, her interactions with working-class women in Berlin, and her exposure to the horrors of two world wars.

While her naturalistic style at first appeared to be out of touch with the currents of abstraction that were becoming dominant during her lifetime, her depictions of universal human experiences, the depth and emotional power of her dense networks of lines and light and dark contrasts, were a potent reflection of her time that continue to resonate today.

Kollwitz's compassion for those in need gave resulted in international renown. Today she is one of Germany's best known artists of the 20th century. Her name evokes images of bereaved mothers, ailing, fatherless children, and anguished parents, but her reputations rests on her artistic talent and drive for experimentation in a wide range of media.

This extraordinary publication examines the richness and depth of Kollwitz's work and features more than 100 colour and black and white reproductions of her engravings, drawings, and sculptures, largely drawn from the collection of the Art Gallery of Ontario as well as essays by Brenda Rix on Kollwitz's life and art and by Brian McCrindle on building the Kollwitz collection.


Brenda Rix is a curator at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Brian McCrindle donated the Käthe Kollwitz collection to the AGO.

144 pages
Pub date: December 4, 2018