Self-portrait, 1889

Pen and black ink and brush and sepia on drawing cardboard, NT 12

Käthe Kollwitz, Self-portrait, 1889, pen and black ink and brush and sepia on drawing cardboard, NT 12, Cologne Kollwitz Collection © Käthe Kollwitz Museum Köln

The posture and facial expression in this drawing reveal the growing confidence of the young artist Käthe Schmidt. This portrait – like all her early works – is in the tradition of the pictorial style, signed with her maiden name »Schmidt« in an early lettering style and dated »’89«. It was thus created during her two-year studies at the Munich Academy for Women Artists under Ludwig Herterich.

She presented herself in a self-confident and ostentatious close-up view, standing in front of her easel, one hand at her lapel. This is a pose she adopted from the self-portraits of her male fellow artists.


Käthe Kollwitz Museum Köln

Neumarkt 18-24 / Neumarkt Passage

50667 Köln

+49 (0)221 227 2899

+49 (0)221 227 2602

Opening hours

Tue - Sun

11 am – 6 pm

Public holidays

11 am – 6 pm

First Thu each month

11 am – 8 pm



Please note

The Käthe Kollwitz Museum's exhibition rooms are temporarily closed due to extensive renovation work.

You are welcome to visit our pop-up space RAUM FÜR NEUES - open Tuesday to Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., each first Thursday of the month 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

read more

zur Karte