Käthe Kollwitz: Life, Death, War at the NGI

Down by the Dougie

Leaving the Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting exhibition at the National Galley of Ireland I spotted that there was an exhibition of works by Käthe Kollwitz in the Print Gallery.

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Käthe Schmidt was born in Königsberg, 150 years ago on on 8th July 1867  in what was then in East Prussia (today Kaliningrad, Russia). However she lived most of her life in Berlin where she studied and later married Karl Kollwitz, a doctor living for the half century in Prenzlauer Berg, a working class suburb of North Berlin and one of the city’s poorest neighbourhoods. Her husband worked for a workers’ health insurance fund and often treated the working poor free of charge. Initially trained as a painter, Kollwitz began to focus on the graphic arts – drawing, etching, woodcuts – and sculpture. Influenced by the writings of Emile Zola, her subjects were ordinary people, the downtrodden and the…

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