July 2017: 150 years since the birth of Käthe Kollwitz
July 2017 marks 150 years since the birth of Käthe Kollwitz (German artist; 8 July 1867 – 22 April 1945):
Käthe Kollwitz was one of Germany's leading artists of the 20th Century. Through her paintings, prints and sculptures, she offered an often all too real portrayal of the human condition, and the tragedy of war in the first half of the 20th century. Her sympathies lay with the less fortunate, and she strove to convey the injustices that they faced through poverty, hunger, and war. Her work is described as Naturalist, but it also became more Expressionist in her later years.
The tragic death of her son in 1914 while fighting in Flanders certainly contributed to her pacifist and socialist sympathies. Käthe Kollwitz believed that art should reflect the social conditions of the time and during the 1920s she produced a series of works reflecting her concern with the themes of war, poverty, working class life and the lives of ordinary women.