Kollwitz born in Kaliningrad, Russia in 1867. She became a student in Berlin to develop her artistic skills as a painter, etcher and sculptor. She documented the working class, revolutions, war and human sufferings. Her son Peter, died in World War 1 and her grandson, Peter in World War 2. ‘The grieving parents’ was a memorial artwork to soldiers and their families who had suffered because of the war.
Kollwitz documents the lives of the less fortunate, capturing harrowing moments of despair, unconsolable loss and devastation. The artwork below is a mother with her dead child.
The above wood cut is a self-portrait by Kollwitz, with a stoic gaze and unflattering rendering which alludes to the suffering she faced through out her life.