Death and Woman, Käthe Kollwitz
Käthe Kollwitz
Death and Woman
DE
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Printing plate

Käthe Kollwitz: Tod und Frau, Druckplatte. Stiftung Archiv der Akademie der Künste, Kunstsammlung, Berlin

Käthe Kollwitz

Death and Woman, 1910


Blatt
695 x 513 mm
Platte
448 x 446 mm
Physical Description
Line etching, drypoint, sandpaper, soft ground, some roulette
Inventory Number
SG 4233
Object Number
SG 4233 D
Acquisition
Acquired in 1964 from the collection of Helmut and Hedwig Goedeckemeyer
Status
Not on display

Texts

About the Work

The human body is the true motif of Kollwitz’s work. In vivid body language, she staged – or, more aptly, choreographed – it as a timeless, gestural-emotional form of expression. This is especially apparent in the works in which she reflected on motherhood as an existential experience characterized by unconditional, instinctual love and fear of irreversible loss. When she expands these compositions to include the figure of Death, it is not as a detached vis-à-vis. Rather, Death joins the embrace, which in its dynamic often takes on a virtually dance-like quality. With this physical – indeed, corporal – ‘entanglement’, the artist achieved a new and entirely unconventional way of formulating the classical pictorial subject.

About the Acquisition

Immediately after World War I, the art connoisseur and bibliophile Helmut Goedeckemeyer (1898–1983) began amassing one of the largest collections of prints by Käthe Kollwitz. He supplemented these holdings with works of late nineteenth-century French and German printmaking, illustrated books by Max Slevogt, Alfred Kubin and others, and small-scale sculptures by such artists as Aristide Maillol. His collection ultimately encompassed more than 5,000 works. Goedeckemeyer’s close ties to the Städel Museum date back to the 1920s. From 1959 onwards, he and his wife Hedwig were members of the Städelscher Museums-Verein (Städel Museum Association). The City of Frankfurt acquired his Kollwitz collection for the Städtische Galerie (Municipal Gallery) in 1964. He made several gifts to the Städel collection of prints and drawings over the years, and in 1970 presented the museum with Honoré Daumier’s “Ratapoil” (inv. no. St.P391).

Work Data

Basic Information

Title
Death and Woman
Artist
Period Produced
Object Type
Physical Description
Line etching, drypoint, sandpaper, soft ground, some roulette
Material
Technique
Geographic Reference
Label at the Time of Manufacture
Signiert unterhalb des Plattenrandes rechts (mit Bleistift): Käthe Kollwitz
Captions Added Later
Bezeichnet unten mittig neben dem Stempel der Sammlung Albin Woldemar von Dietel (mit Bleistift): [auf den Stempel bezogener Pfeil] vormals: [unterstrichen] / Slg. A. W. v. Dietel; nummeriert links neben dem Stempel: 54126
Verso nummeriert unten mittig (mit Bleistift): 49 [im Rechteck]
Unten mittig Stempel der Sammlung Albin Woldemar von Dietel (Lugt 2722b)
Unten mittig Stempel der Sammlung Goedeckemeyer (nicht bei Lugt)
Verso Stempel der Sammlung Goedeckemeyer (nicht bei Lugt)
Verso Stempel der Städtischen Galerie, Frankfurt am Main (Lugt 2371c), mit zugehöriger Inventarnummer
Watermark
  • mittig: bekrönte Wappenkartusche mit heraldischer Lilie über Initialen „VGZ“
Work Catalogues
  • von dem Knesebeck 107 V b (von VIII)
  • Klipstein 103 V a (von VIII)

Property and Acquisition

Institution
Departement
Collection
Creditline
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Picture Copyright
Public Domain
Acquisition
Acquired in 1964 from the collection of Helmut and Hedwig Goedeckemeyer

Work Content

Motifs and References

Genre
Persons Shown

Iconclass

Primary
  • 31A14 human figure of ideal proportions, e.g. academic nude
  • 31D15 adult woman
  • 31F symbols and personifications of Death

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Last update

10.04.2024