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Die Freiwilligen (The Volunteers), plate 2 from the portfolio Sieben Holzschnitte zum Krieg (Seven Woodcuts about the War)

K%26%23228%3Bthe%20Kollwitz%2C%20%3Cb%3E%3Ci%3E%20Die%20Freiwilligen%20%28The%20Volunteers%29%2C%20plate%202%20from%20the%20portfolio%20Sieben%20Holzschnitte%20zum%20Krieg%20%28Seven%20Woodcuts%20about%20the%20War%29%3C%2Fi%3E%3C%2Fb%3E%2C%201921-1922%3B%20published%201923%2C%20woodcut%20on%20thick%2C%20smooth%2C%20beige%20wove%20paper%2C%20Gift%20of%20Mr.%20Frederic%20Rothchild%2C%20%26%23169%3B%20artist%20or%20other%20rights%20holder%2C%2076.38.3
Käthe Kollwitz, Die Freiwilligen (The Volunteers), plate 2 from the portfolio Sieben Holzschnitte zum Krieg (Seven Woodcuts about the War), 1921-1922; published 1923, woodcut on thick, smooth, beige wove paper, Gift of Mr. Frederic Rothchild, © artist or other rights holder, 76.38.3

K%26%23228%3Bthe%20Kollwitz%2C%20%3Cb%3E%3Ci%3E%20Die%20Freiwilligen%20%28The%20Volunteers%29%2C%20plate%202%20from%20the%20portfolio%20Sieben%20Holzschnitte%20zum%20Krieg%20%28Seven%20Woodcuts%20about%20the%20War%29%3C%2Fi%3E%3C%2Fb%3E%2C%201921-1922%3B%20published%201923%2C%20woodcut%20on%20thick%2C%20smooth%2C%20beige%20wove%20paper%2C%20Gift%20of%20Mr.%20Frederic%20Rothchild%2C%20%26%23169%3B%20artist%20or%20other%20rights%20holder%2C%2076.38.3

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Details
Title

Die Freiwilligen (The Volunteers), plate 2 from the portfolio Sieben Holzschnitte zum Krieg (Seven Woodcuts about the War)

Artist

Käthe Kollwitz (German, 1867-1945)

Date

1921-1922; published 1923

Medium

woodcut on thick, smooth, beige wove paper

Edition

33/100

Catalogue Raisonné

Knesebeck 173 IV

Dimensions (H x W x D)

image: 13 3/4 in x 19 3/8 in; sheet: 19 1/4 in x 26 1/2 in

Inscriptions & Markings

edition: 33/100, graphite, lower left

signature: Käthe Kollwitz, graphite, lower right

Collection Area

Graphic Arts

Category

Prints

Object Type

relief print

Culture

German

Credit Line

Gift of Mr. Frederic Rothchild

Accession Number

76.38.3

Copyright

© artist or other rights holder

Terms

deaths

paper

relief printing

relief prints

wars

woodcut

World War I (1914-1918)

world wars

Description

German Expressionist Käthe Kollwitz initially accepted the conflict as a necessary evil. Her nineteen-year-old son volunteered soon after war was declared and was killed in battle just two months later. Kollwitz was devastated. She struggled to find meaning through her art, experimenting with woodcut for the first time, a medium in whose stark contrasts and jagged forms the artist found expressive power. In 1923 she published a portfolio that focused on the anguish experienced on the home front. Eschewing anecdotal detail, Kollwitz created iconic images that epitomize grief and suffering. Here, Death, personified as a skeleton, leads five unwilling recruits—including Kollwitz's son Peter and his friends—into the slaughterhouse of war.

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