- Museum number
Object: Losbruch (Outbreak)
Series: Bauernkrieg (The peasants' revolt)
A mob of armed peasants charges ahead, urged on by a woman with upraised arms; 8th state. 1902-1903
Etching, drypoint, aquatint, lift ground and soft ground with imprint of two fabrics and Ziegler's transfer paper, printed on heavyweight brown paper
- Production date
Height: 492 millimetres
Width: 575 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- This is the fifth plate - and earliest plate to be finished - from Kollwitz's series 'Bauernkrieg' (The Peasants' Revolt), a cycle based on the Peasants' Revolt of 1522-5, which occurred in Germany during the Protestant Reformation. With the inclusion of 'Black Anna', the incendiary figure with upraised arms, this is the only plate from the series to represent an identifiable historical character or event. Kollwitz identified the woman as 'Black Anna' in a letter to Arthur Bonus. She derived the figure itself from an illustration by Arthur Boyd Houghton published in 'The Graphic' of 8 April 1871 (reproduced Paul Hogarth, 'Arthur Boyd Houghton', London 1981, p.115.) The Verbindung für historische Kunst (Society for Historical Art) commissioned the series, then published and distributed the seven plates to its members in 1908.
Four preparatory drawings for the entire composition are known (Nagel 187-90); four drawings for 'Black Anna' (Nagel 191-4); one drawing (Nagel 195) and three etchings (Klipstein 63-65) for the open-mouthed figures to her left. Kollwitz told painter Sella Hasse that she achieved the texture in the sky by applying vernis mou [soft ground] to the plate, placing a piece of canvas over the ground, running the plate through the press and then etching the impression.
(See Carey & Griffiths, 'The Print in Germany 1880-1933', BM exh cat, 1984, no.38 [impression from different state]; see also Prelinger, 'Käthe Kollwitz', Washington National Gallery of Art exh cat, 1992, pp.33-39; F. Carey and M. Egremont, 'Portrait of the Artist: Käthe Kollwitz' [Birmingham, Ikon, 2017], fig. 45).
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2019-20, 2 September-12 January, London, BM, G90, Portrait of the Artist: Käthe Kollwitz
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number