In this emblematic self-portrait, a pregnant Modersohn–Becker stares out at the viewer with a steady, compelling gaze. One hand is raised, holding two stylized flowers, while the other is positioned over her swelling belly. Modersohn–Becker, a pioneering figure of the 20th–century German avant–garde, is believed to be the first woman to paint herself while pregnant; this painting is one of only a few such portrayals. She gave birth to a daughter on November 2, 1907, and died of complications on November 21, at age 31. The painting's audacious palette, stark composition, and psychological depth reflect Modersohn–Becker's position as a pivotal link between Fauvism and German Expressionism.
Gallery label from MoMA Collection, 2017.