Love Scene I, c 1909/1910

Charcoal, blotted, NT 561

Käthe Kollwitz, Love Scene I, c 1909/10, charcoal, blotted, NT 561, Cologne Kollwitz Collection © Käthe Kollwitz Museum Köln

The observer witnesses an intimate and erotic moment. The passionate scene is given additional emphasis through the artist’s bold strokes, which refer back to her own emotions. Kollwitz first crossed out her signature in the top right margin of the sheet and then tried to erase it completely, which was, however, not successful.

The pictorial structure follows the two intertwined bodies in a sweeping upward movement, beginning in the woman’s leg, bottom right, then continuing along the bent back of the man in the left-hand margin of the image to reach its apex in the top right-hand corner in the passionate face of the woman whose head is bent backwards.

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