Käthe Kollwitz Self-Portrait en Face (Selbstbildnis en face) state I/II c.1904

  • Not on view

When Kollwitz created this self-portrait, she was thirty-seven years old and one of the most acclaimed artists in Germany. In an art world dominated by men and centered on painting, she forged her own path, developing a printmaking practice that focused on the plights of women. Here she presents herself in stark, almost sculptural terms, with dramatic highlights on her face that allow it to emerge from the dark blue background. Her forthright gaze projects determination and an emotional depth that is the hallmark of her work. “I want to be true, genuine, and undyed,” she wrote.

Gallery label from 2022
Crayon and pen lithograph, printed in three colors
composition (irreg.): 17 5/16 × 13 3/8" (44 × 34 cm); sheet: 18 7/8 × 13 3/8" (47.9 × 34 cm)
probably Käthe Kollwitz
one of eleven known proofs (states I – II)
Jointly owned by The Museum of Modern Art, New York (The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Endowment for Prints, and gift of Jack Shear, Marlene Hess and James D. Zirin, Alice and Tom Tisch [in honor of Marlene Hess], Kathy and Richard S. Fuld, Jr., Emily Rauh Pulitzer, Maud I. Welles, Ronnie Heyman [in honor of Marlene Hess], and Carol and Morton Rapp) and Neue Galerie New York (Gift of Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder)
Object number
Drawings and Prints

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