Lament, Käthe Kollwitz
Käthe Kollwitz
Lament
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Käthe Kollwitz

Lament, 1938 – 1941 (Guss 1960)


Dimensions
26.5 x 26.5 x 8 cm
Physical Description
Bronze
Inventory Number
SGP209
Acquisition
Acquired in 1965
Status
On display, Special Exhibitions

Texts

About the Work

This is the mute lament of an artist, perpetuated in bronze. The image speaks of pain, grief and incomprehension: the overlarge, powerful hands are placed protectively over the mouth and eye, as if wanting to no longer be compelled to see the terrible events, or to suppress a scream. With this relief created during the Nazi dictatorship, Kollwitz recalls her artist friend Ernst Barlach, who had died in 1938 and who was ostracised like her. As early as 1920 she had formulated her artistic task timelessly and with universal validity: "I shall give voice to the suffering of man, which never ceases."

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
Lament
Sculptor (male)
Period Produced
School
Object Type
Physical Description
Bronze
Material
Technique
Label at the Time of Manufacture
Bezeichnet an der linken Seitenfläche in Versalien (auf dem Kopf stehend), vom Modell mitgegossen: KOLLWITZ
Gießermarke in der unteren Seitenfläche links am Rand zweiteiliger Stempel zweizeilig eingeschlagen: H.NOACK / BERLIN
Captions Added Later
In die Rück-/Innenseite eingeritzt: Helmut Goedeckemeyer; und eingekreist: Goe
Work Catalogues
  • Seeler 38 I.B.18

Property and Acquisition

Institution
Departement
Collection
Creditline
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Picture Copyright
Public Domain
Acquisition
Acquired in 1965

Work Content

Motifs and References

Genre
Main Motif
Persons Shown
Associated Persons and Institutions

Iconclass

Primary
  • 48C23 portrait, self-portrait of sculptor
  • 61BB2(KOLLWITZ, Käthe)1 historical person (KOLLWITZ, Käthe) - BB - woman - historical person(KOLLWITZ, Käthe) portrayed
  • 31D15 adult woman
  • 31A221 head (human)
  • 31A2211 face
  • 31A253 postures and gestures of arms and hands in relation to the head
  • 31A25311 'caput manui innixum', head held in the hand(s)
  • 56BB121 Lamentation; 'Querela a Dio' (Ripa)
  • 56BB1 Pain, Sorrow, Sadness; 'Dolore', 'Dolore di Zeusi' (Ripa)

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Last update

10.04.2024