Käthe Kollwitz. In Memoriam Karl Liebknecht (Gedenkblatt für Karl Liebknecht). (1920)

Käthe Kollwitz

In Memoriam Karl Liebknecht (Gedenkblatt für Karl Liebknecht)


composition: 13 3/4 x 19 5/8" (34.9 x 49.9 cm); sheet: 18 3/4 x 25 1/16" (47.7 x 63.7 cm)
Emil Richter, Dresden
Fritz Voigt, Berlin
100 numbered, signed and hand-printed on Japan paper (state V) [this ex.]; plus 2 known proofs before the edition and 9 known state proofs (states I-IV); and an unknown machine-printed edition with band of text attached at bottom (state VI); plus 9 known proofs
The Philip and Lynn Straus Foundation Fund
Object number
© 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
Drawings and Prints
This work is not on view.
Käthe Kollwitz has 36 works online.
There are 19,627 prints online.

Kollwitz created this image as a response to the brutal murder of Karl Liebknecht, a Communist leader who helped lead an armed revolt against the Socialist government in January 1919. He was assassinated by right-wing paramilitary units. Kollwitz's composition is based on traditional Christian lamentation scenes, thus placing Liebknecht in the role of martyr. The artist paid special attention to the dignity and pathos of Liebknecht’s working-class followers, who had put their hope and faith in him.

Gallery label from German Expressionism: The Graphic Impulse, March 27–July 11, 2011

This work is included in the Provenance Research Project, which investigates the ownership history of works in MoMA's collection.
Sold through Phillips Auction, London, June 29, 1998 (lot 135) to Jörg Maaß Gallery, Berlin; sold to The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1998

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