- Museum number
- Object: Frau mit totem Kind (Woman with dead child)
Woman, sitting cross-legged, holds dead child; 6th state. 1903
Etching, drypoint, sandpaper and soft ground with the imprint of Bütten paper and Ziegler's transfer paper, printed in brown on copperplate paper and overprinted with a gold-sprayed lithographic tone stone
- Production date
Height: 415 millimetres
Width: 480 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Text from Frances Carey & Antony Griffiths, 'The Print in Germany 1880-1933', BM 1984, no.30
The combination of etching with lithography seen in this experimental impression is most unusual, not only in Kollwitz's work, but in the entire history of printmaking. Even Munch, who was the great innovator in combining woodcut and lithography, never seems to have tried this mixture. It therefore remains uncertain who suggested this approach to her. However, she evidently had had it in mind for several years. She wrote to Max Lehrs in August 1901: "I devote myself to lithography next to etching, and promise myself great things from a mixing of the two techniques - I now have my own press to hand for experiments" ('Briefe der Freundschaft', p. 24). In a later letter of 1929 to Heinrich Becker she recalled that at the time when she was working on this plate she had made "all possible experiments", but that she later had come to reject completely these combinations of techniques ('Käthe Kollwitz an Dr Heinrich Becker, Briefe', Bielefeld 1967, p. 3).
Max Lehrs ('Die graphischen Künste', xxvi, 1903, pp. 59, 66-7) records three other prints with a similar combination of etching and lithography: one is of workers returning by lantern light, another is of a girl with an orange (both these are from three plates, two aluminium and one copper), while the last is of a cabaret scene (from one aluminium and one copper plate). The first of these is an unrecorded variant of Klipstein 54, the second is Klipstein 56, while the last is an unrecorded variant of Klipstein 58. Another impression of the 'Woman with dead child' with a gold lithographed background is in the Städtischen Museum, Bielefeld, and a gold-painted impression of the fourth state from the Schocken Collection was sold at Hamburg in 1967 (Hauswedell auction 152 lot 708; later with C.G. Boerner, Düsseldorf, 'Neue Lagerliste 50', 1968, no. 21).
Additional lit.: F. Carey and M. Egremont, 'Portrait of the Artist: Käthe Kollwitz' (Birmingham, Ikon, 2017), cat. 23.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1984/5 Sep-Jan, BM, 'The Print in Germany 1880-1933, cat.30
1992 May-Aug, Washington, Nat Gall of Art, Kathe Kollwitz
1995 Jan-March, Lancaster, Peter Scott Gallery, Käthe Kollwitz
1999 Aug-Oct, Bielefeld, Kunsthalle, 'Kathe Kollwitz: Image of Woman'
1999 Oct-Dec, Bedburg-hau, Mus Schloss Moyland, Kollwitz: Image of Woman
2010/11 Nov-Jan, Cologne, Käthe Kollwitz Mus, Paris has cast spell on me
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
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Carey & Griffiths 1984
Must have bought it before 1913, since Sievers mentions it as belonging to him.
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number