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The Widow II (Die Witwe II)

European Art

Created in the wake of her son’s death on the battlefield in Flanders during World War I, the prints from Käthe Kollwitz’s War (Krieg) portfolio chronicle the personal costs of combat, removing contextual and narrative details of time and place in favor of a more universal cycle of loss and mourning. The devastating toll of war on poor and working-class families was a central theme of Kollwitz’s work, and printmaking enabled her to reach wide audiences with her socialist political messages. Her poignant combination of raw expression and barbed ideology continues to resonate with contemporary realities of war and struggle worldwide.
MEDIUM Woodcut in black ink on beige, moderately thick, smooth, wove paper
  • Place Made: Germany
  • DATES 1922-1923
    DIMENSIONS image: 11 7/8 × 20 7/8 in. (30.2 × 53 cm) sheet: 18 3/4 × 25 3/4 in. (47.6 × 65.4 cm)
    SIGNATURE Signed, "Kathe Kollowitz" in pencil, lower right margin
    INSCRIPTIONS Lower left in graphite: "88/100"; lower right in graphite: " Bl. 5 zn Folge: Krieg/Die Witwe"; lower right in graphite: "Käthe Kollwitz"
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    EDITION Edition: 88/100
    CREDIT LINE Carll H. de Silver Fund
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