Scene from Germinal, Käthe Kollwitz
Käthe Kollwitz
Scene from Germinal
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Käthe Kollwitz

Scene from Germinal, 1893

361 x 625 mm
239 x 528 mm
190 x 515 mm
Physical Description
Line etching, drypoint, and sandpaper
Inventory Number
SG 4186
Object Number
SG 4186 D
Acquired in 1964 from the collection of Helmut and Hedwig Goedeckemeyer
Not on display


About the Work

Émile Zola’s novel "Germinal", set in the coalmining milieu, inspired Kollwitz early on. In this atmospherically dense etching we join the protagonist Catherine in gazing at her two brawling suitors. The room, elongated in stage-like manner and claustrophobically low-ceilinged, mirrors Zola’s description of the confined mining shafts.

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).

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