- Museum number
- Object: Arbeitslosigkeit (Unemployment)
Wife lays in bed with three children, while her husband, in shadow, sits beside bed with head in hands; 6th state, before late November 1909. 1909
Etching, aquatint, sandpaper and soft ground with the imprint of Ziegler's transfer paper, printed in brown on copperplate paper
- Production date
Height: 382 millimetres (image size)
Height: 450 millimetres (plate size)
Width: 530 millimetres
Width: 546 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- According to the annotation, this is one of thirteen impressions printed before the plate was steel-faced.
Text from Frances Carey & Antony Griffiths, 'The Print in Germany 1880-1933', BM 1984, no.41
The source of this composition is a well-known drawing commissioned by 'Simplicissimus', where it was published on 19 July 1909. In 'Simplicissimus' the drawing was titled 'Das einzige Glück' (the only redeeming feature) and had a caption "If they didn't need soldiers, they would also put a tax on children". There is good reason to think that Kollwitz had nothing to do with this text, which was added by the editors, and that the title given to the print corresponds to her intentions.
The original drawing used by 'Simplicissimus' is now in the National Gallery of Art in Washington (Rosenwald collection: Nagel 545). Kollwitz, however, based the print on a variant drawing now in Frankfurt (Nagel 544), but retained the figure of the man from the Washington drawing. An impression of the first state of the print in Berlin is annotated with marks for the addition of future layers of tone.
Additional lit.: F. Carey and M. Egremont, 'Portrait of the Artist: Käthe Kollwitz' (Birmingham, Ikon, 2017), cat. 14.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1984/5 Sept-Jan., BM, 'The Print in Germany 1880-1933', cat.41
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
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number