Peter in his Bed, reading, c 1908

Pencil on drawing paper, NT 444

Käthe Kollwitz, Peter in his Bed, reading, c 1908, pencil on drawing paper, NT 444, Cologne Kollwitz Collection © Käthe Kollwitz Museum Köln

The majority of the portrait studies of Käthe Kollwitz’ two sons Hans and Peter are pencil drawings. They almost always show them reading, drowsing or sleeping. One advantage of this was that it enabled the artist to portrait her models in peace, knowing that they would not change their posture too quickly. Another advantage was that it facilitated an unbiased, genuine representation of their personalities without any posturing, as the models were usually unaware of being portrayed in these situations.

In many works, only the head is executed in detail while the shoulders – and the blanket in this work – are only suggested with a few lines.

CONTEXTUAL WORKS

Käthe Kollwitz, Hans Kollwitz reading, profile view, looking right, c 1903/1904, pencil, NT 267, Cologne Kollwitz Collection © Käthe Kollwitz Museum Köln

Käthe Kollwitz, Hans Kollwitz reading, profile view, looking right, c 1903/1904, pencil, NT 267

Käthe Kollwitz, Peter in his Bed, c 1908, pencil on drawing paper, NT 445, Cologne Kollwitz Collection © Käthe Kollwitz Museum Köln

Käthe Kollwitz, Peter in his Bed, c 1908, pencil on drawing paper, NT 445

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