Early individual sheets

During her studies in Munich, Käthe Kollwitz witnessed the breakthrough of Naturalism with its depictions of everyday life as experienced by ordinary people. She joined the movement which was spearheaded in the fine arts by Liebermann and Uhde.

Käthe Kollwitz, too, represented the everyday life of workers – for the time being without any tendentiousness, but because she found their life »beautiful«. This attitude was influenced by Zola. In her diary she wrote: »As Zola or somebody once said, ›le beau, c’est le laid‹.« (Käthe Kollwitz, Diaries, Retrospection, 1941)

In line with Naturalist writers, the artist put the urban proletariat at the centre of her work. It was only when she came into direct contact with the urban proletariat in North Berlin and at her husband’s surgery that she was motivated to produce socially critical works.

WORKS

Käthe Kollwitz, Scene from Germinal, 1893, line etching, drypoint, sandpaper, Kn 19 III b, Cologne Kollwitz Collection © Käthe Kollwitz Museum Köln

Käthe Kollwitz, Scene from »Germinal«, 1893, line etching, drypoint, sandpaper, Kn 19 III b

Käthe Kollwitz, Young Couple, 1904?, line etching, sandpaper, reservage and soft ground with imprint of fabric, Kn 83 III c, Cologne Kollwitz Collection © Käthe Kollwitz Museum Köln

Käthe Kollwitz, Young Couple, 1904?, line etching, sandpaper, reservage and soft ground with imprint of fabric, Kn 83 III c

Käthe Kollwitz, Gretchen, 1899, line etching, drypoint, aquatint and burnisher, Kn 45 IV, Cologne Kollwitz Collection © Käthe Kollwitz Museum Köln

Käthe Kollwitz, Gretchen, 1899, line etching, drypoint, aquatint and burnisher, Kn 45 IV

Käthe Kollwitz, The Carmagnole, 1901, line etching, drypoint, aquatint respectively brush etching, sandpaper, Kn 51 VII, Cologne Kollwitz Collection © Käthe Kollwitz Museum Köln

Käthe Kollwitz, The Carmagnole, 1901, line etching, drypoint, aquatint respectively brush etching, sandpaper, Kn 51 VII

Käthe Kollwitz, Workers Coming from the Station (Prenzlauer Allee Station), 1897-1899, brush and watercolour, heightened with white, on Ingres paper, NT 146, Cologne Kollwitz Collection © Käthe Kollwitz Museum Köln

Käthe Kollwitz, Workers coming from the Station (Prenzlauer Allee Station), 1897-1899, brush and watercolour, heightened with white, on Ingres paper, NT 146

Address

Käthe Kollwitz Museum Köln

Neumarkt 18-24 / Neumarkt Passage

50667 Köln

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Mon

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The Museum is closed on Christmas Eve, 1st and 2nd Christmas Day and New Year's Eve as well as on carnival days from Weiberfastnacht (Thursday) to Veilchendienstag (Tuesdey).