Käthe Kollwitz, Death seizes the Children, sheet 3 of the series »Death«, 1934, crayon lithograph, Kn 266 II b, Cologne Kollwitz Collection © Käthe Kollwitz Museum Köln

The theme of Death seizing a group of children already occupied Käthe Kollwitz in 1920 when she was working on the poster »Vienna is starving! Save its children«. She noted in her diary:

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I had another idea for the representation of Death – seizing a group of children. He has already got hold of two of them. The one who has been torn by his hair is now lying silently on his back, staring at Death as if petrified. On the left sits a woman with a mournful expression on her face. She is not the child’s mother. She represents the woman who only looks on, but is full of compassion.«
Käthe Kollwitz, Diaries, 12 January 1920

The artist returned to this idea is sheet 3 of the series in which Death, hovering above two children, seizes them forcefully and carries them away.

CONTEXTUAL WORK

Käthe Kollwitz, Death seizes the Children, 1920, black crayon on thick, chamois-coloured paper, NT 860, Cologne Kollwitz Collection © Käthe Kollwitz Museum Köln

Käthe Kollwitz, Death seizes the Children, 1920, black crayon on thick, chamois-coloured paper, NT 860

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