March of the Weavers, sheet 4 of the cycle »A Weavers’ Revolt«, 1893-1897

Line etching and sandpaper, Kn 36 II a

Käthe Kollwitz, March of the Weavers, sheet 4 of the cycle »A Weavers’ Revolt«, 1893-1897, line etching and sandpaper, Kn 36 II a, Cologne Kollwitz Collection © Käthe Kollwitz Museum Köln

Armed with axes and wooden poles, the emaciated, embittered weavers march to the house of their employer, their fists clenched. Despite the fact that some weavers have clenched their fists and some have opened their mouths to chant a battle cry or song, the overall atmosphere of the scene is characterised by bleak desolation emphasised by the men’s uniformly dark and humble clothes, their emaciated faces and the bones that can clearly be seen protruding from under the skin. This desolation is also underlined by the stooping posture of the weavers and the horizontal line just above their heads which seems to weigh them down.
In this image, too, there is a woman with child in the foreground with whom Kollwitz may have identified.

Studies

Käthe Kollwitz, sheet with studies of heads, hands and arms for the etching »March of the Weavers«, c 1896, pencil, pen and ink, washed, on brown drawing cardboard, NT 123, Cologne Kollwitz Collection © Käthe Kollwitz Museum Köln

Käthe Kollwitz, sheet with studies of heads, hands and arms for the etching »March of the Weavers«, c 1896, pencil, pen and ink, washed, on brown drawing cardboard, NT 123

Käthe Kollwitz, study sheet with a full-figure portrait of a man standing, 1896, pen and ink, pencil, on firm vellum paper, NT 128, Cologne Kollwitz Collection © Käthe Kollwitz Museum Köln

Käthe Kollwitz, study sheet with a full-figure portrait of a man standing, 1896, pen and ink, pencil, on firm vellum paper, NT 128

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