Käthe Schmidt was born July 8, 1867, in Königsberg, East Prussia (then, part of Germany; now Kaliningrad, Russia). She studied art in Berlin and Munich, and in 1891 married Dr. Karl Kollwitz and settled in Berlin. A painter, sculptor, and printmaker, she is one of the foremost German artists of the first half of the twentieth century.
Her early subjects were primarily poor and oppressed people. Her goal was to help bring about social justice through her art.
In 1914, her youngest son, Peter, died while a soldier in Flanders during the Great War (World War I). His loss affected Kollwitz profoundly. Thereafter, war and death were recurring themes in her work.
Her art is characterized by misery, despair, and impending death.
The video below highlights many of her pieces. Sprinkled here and there are a few less dark works.
Käthe Kollwitz died April 22, 1945, near Dresden, Germany.
Visit the links below for more information about Kollwitz: