- Museum number
- Object: Junges Paar (Young couple)
Young girl sits on sofa in parlour, as man in background stands with back to her; 3rd state. 1904
Etching, sandpaper, lift ground and soft ground with imprint of fabric, printed in black on copperplate paper
- Production date
Height: 293 millimetres
Width: 313 millimetres (sheet size; trimmed within plate-mark)
- Curator's comments
- Text from Frances Carey & Antony Griffiths, 'The Print in Germany 1880-1933', BM 1984, no.32
This magnificent print is a reworking of a composition first etched in 1893 (Klipstein 18). Its subject was taken from a play by Max Halbe (1865-1944) entitled 'Jugend', first published in 1893 and performed with immense success at the Residenztheater in Berlin on 23 April of the same year.
Halbe belonged to the same wave of Naturalist authors as Hauptmann, and his play must have appealed to Kollwitz for the same reasons. The story is Strindbergian in theme, and treats of two ill-starred lovers; in the dénouement the girl is shot dead by her jealous half-brother.
The print of 1893 is the clearest evidence of the profound influence of the work of Munch, which she must have seen for the first time in the previous year, and which was already noticed by Julius Elias, a contemporary critic writing in 'Die Nation' of 27 July 1893 (though scarcely mentioned by Kollwitz herself). It is evident in the opposition of the man and woman, whose lack of contact is emphasised by their facing in opposite directions. The preparatory drawings (Nagel 84 to 88) show two interesting things: that the composition originally showed the two figures half-turned towards each other, and that she used herself and her husband as the models.
This is an early impression of the third state, printed before the plate was steel-faced and before the 1920 Richter edition.
Additional lit.: F. Carey and M. Egremont, 'Portrait of the Artist: Käthe Kollwitz' (Birmingham, Ikon, 2017), cat. 13.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1984/5 Sep-Jan, BM,'The Print in Germany 1880-1933', cat.32
1995 Jan-Mar, Lancaster, Peter Scott Gallery, Käthe Kollwitz
2017 13 Sep-26 Nov, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, Portrait of the Artist: Käthe Kollwitz
2017-2018 15 Dec-11 Mar, Young Gallery, Salisbury, Portrait of the Artist: Käthe Kollwitz
2018 24 Mar-17 Jun, Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea, Portrait of the Artist: Käthe Kollwitz
2018 30 Jun-30 Sep, Ferens Art Gallery, Hull, Portrait of the Artist: Käthe Kollwitz
2019-20, 2 September-12 January, London, BM, G90, Portrait of the Artist: Käthe Kollwitz
- Associated titles
Associated Title: Jugend
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number