Self-portrait en face, c 1910

Charcoal on grey-blue Ingres paper, NT 688

Käthe Kollwitz en face, c 1910, charcoal on grey-blue Ingres paper, NT 688

This self-portrait can be dated around 1910 and shows the artist in her favourite pose – her arm resting on the table and her head supported by the hand on her forehead while looking into the mirror and concentrating on her drawing.

In her drawings and prints, the artist portrayed herself again and again in this pensive, often explorative and always self-reflective manner. Even photographers such as Hugo Erfurt often captured Käthe Kollwitz in this pose.

The softness of the charcoal, which she tried out on the margin of the sheet, and the strong chiaroscuro effects that are the result of a light source from the bottom left, result in a sensuous expression that is rare in the artist’s work.

This sheet from the artist’s estate also reveals the photosensitivity of some of the papers used by Kollwitz.


Käthe Kollwitz Museum Köln

Neumarkt 18-24 / Neumarkt Passage

50667 Köln

+49 (0)221 227 2899

+49 (0)221 227 2602

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Public holidays

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First Thu each month

11 am – 8 pm



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Visiting the museum is possible for everyone without Covid 19-related restrictions.

However, we recommend wearing a medical mask during your stay in the museum or at our events and continuing to observe the general hygiene and distance rules.

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