Two dead Persons, 1920

Woodcut, Kn 158 IV

Käthe Kollwitz, Two dead Persons, 1920, woodcut, Kn 158 IV, Cologne Kollwitz Collection © Käthe Kollwitz Museum Köln

For the theme of her first woodcut, Käthe Kollwitz chose a scene from Romain Roland’s play »The Time Will Come« (Le temps viendra), which was published in a German version in 1919. In this play he described how a French and an Italian soldier kill each other when the Italian tries to flee: »Alain tries, without answering, to reach out his hand to the Italian who stirs, sits up, bends towards him and takes him in his arms. Dying, they both sink to the ground.«

The experimental character of this print is quite evident. The work is characterised by numerous fine lines and only a few compact printing areas. In her later woodcuts the main compositional characteristic is a balance between cohesive printing areas and clear-cut white lines.

WORK DRAWING

Käthe Kollwitz, work drawing for »The Time will come«, 1919, pencil, NT (830a), Cologne Kollwitz Collection © Käthe Kollwitz Museum Köln

Käthe Kollwitz, work drawing for »The Time will come«, 1919, pencil, NT (830a)

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