Uprising, 1899

Line etching, drypoint, aquatint, brush etching, sand paper, some roulette, Kn 46 VI d

Käthe Kollwitz, Uprising, 1899, line etching, drypoint, aquatint, brush etching, sand paper, some roulette, Kn 46 VI d, Cologne Kollwitz Collection © Käthe Kollwitz Museum Köln

The first work created for the ›Peasants War‹ theme was the »Uprising«. This etching was originally published under this title and renamed later.

Above the charging peasants an allegorical female figure is seen spurring the crowd on. The figure turns her head to look at the burning castle in the background which she seemingly set on fire with her torch. This torch puts the figure into the same pictorial tradition as the Furies and the Goddess of Discord.

Delacroix had already used an allegorical figure who spearheads the barricade fighters in his famous painting »Liberty leading the People«. In Delacroix’ personification of the idea of liberty, however, the figure is an entirely earthbound, active person – ›Marianne‹. This worldly quality of the figure was later given by Kollwitz to her ›Black Anna‹ in the sheet »Charge«.

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