Demonstration, final version, 1931

Crayon lithograph (transfer), Kn 252 II c

Käthe Kollwitz, Demonstration, final version, 1931, crayon lithograph (transfer), Kn 252 II c, Cologne Kollwitz Collection © Käthe Kollwitz Museum Köln

The lithograph »Demonstration« was created as a commissioned work for the 10th anniversary of the Arbeiter-Illustrierte-Zeitung (AIZ) magazine.

In an initial version of this motif, Kollwitz integrated a family scene with a child at the centre of the image. She rejected this version, however, as her handwritten comment »not good« shows. The second, final version omits this scene in favour of a resolutely combative composition focusing on the depiction of prototypical workers.

The AIZ eventually decided to print the rejected version, albeit not with Kollwitz’ original motto »We are marching with the new times«, but with a quote by Karl Marx: »We have a world to win«.

In her diary, Käthe Kollwitz commented on communism and revolution:

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I was a revolutionary. My childhood and adolescent dreams were about revolution and barricades. If I were young now, I would certainly be a communist. There is still something that draws me towards it, but I am in my 50s now, I have lived through the war and saw Peter and thousands of other boys die. I am aghast and shaken by all the hatred in the world. I long for a kind of socialism that lets people live their lives. I think that the world has seen enough killing, lies, corruption, distortion, in short everything diabolical. The communist empire built on all this cannot be the work of God.«
Käthe Kollwitz, Diaries, October 1920

REJECTED VERSION

Käthe Kollwitz, Demonstration, rejected version, 1931, crayon lithograph (transfer of an unknown drawing on ribbed laid paper), Kn 151, Cologne Kollwitz Collection © Käthe Kollwitz Museum Köln

Käthe Kollwitz, Demonstration, rejected version, 1931, crayon lithograph (transfer of an unknown drawing on ribbed laid paper), Kn 151

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