Käthe Kollwitz Etching 1899 from the Peasants’ War series.
Artist: Käthe Kollwitz (1867 Königsberg - 1945 Moritzburg)
Title: Revolt (Aufruhr)
Date: 1899 (This posthumous printing 1946-48)
Medium: Etching, drypoint, aquatint, brush etching, sandpaper on white wove paper.
Signature: Two-line blind stamp of the printer (AVDBECKE MUENCHEN22) - Alexander von der Becke - lower right margin.
Condition: The etching is in very good/excellent condition. A very rich and clear impression with sharp detail (note the smoke coming out of the sacked castle upper left). The margins have been trimmed slightly and there is hingeing tape residue on Verso but the image is bright and without flaw.
Size: Plate size: approx. 300x320mm. Presented in a museum quality mat, ready for framing. Please note that packing and postage is invoiced separately. Within Australia: $27.50. Overseas: ask for quote.
Notes: Käthe Kollwitz was a German graphic artist and sculptor who was an eloquent advocate for victims of social injustice, war, and inhumanity.
Kollwitz’s first important works were two separate series of prints, respectively entitled “Weavers’ Revolt” and “Peasants’ War”. In the works she portrayed the plight of the poor and oppressed with the powerfully simplified, boldly accentuated forms that became her trademark.
Following the success of the Weavers’ Revolt series, Kollwitz addressed another historic revolt that had been waged not far from her birthplace, Königsberg (now Kaliningrad Russia). The series Der Bauernkrieg (The Peasant War) was a further demonstration of her unflagging commitment to the plight of the oppressed and disempowered. It examined the brutal treatment of peasants in sixteenth-century Germany, their rise to revolution and battle, and their subsequent humiliation and death. The Peasant War is not only a socio-political pictorial manifesto in which strong female figures are prominently featured, but can also be seen in terms of its connection to the artist’s activism. In this series, women are no longer outsiders or simply participants, but provocateurs of revolt.
Revolt is one of Kollwitz's most famous prints, showing the spirit of revolution hovering in the air over an army of protesters. It is one of her most frequently illustrated works.
Art dealer Alexander von der Becke took over the inventory of Käthe Kollwitz's unsold prints as well as her printing plates after the bankruptcy of Galerie Emil Richter, Dresden, which had published Kollwitz's prints from about 1910 to 1930. Unlike Richter, von der Becke was unable to secure exclusive rights to publish Kollwitz's future prints, so with very few exceptions, such as her major series Death (executed 1934-37), he published reprints of her earlier work in largely unsigned editions. Under the Nazi regime, he suffered from declining sales, as Kollwitz experienced increasing difficulty publishing and exhibiting her work. In 1941 the Gestapo closed his business and confiscated his stock. Re-established in 1946, he subsequently issued posthumous reprints of the thirty Kollwitz etching plates that survived the war.
This impression is from der Becke's 1946/48 printing of Revolt. At bottom right is the printer's dry stamp AVDBECKE MUENCHEN22.
References: Klipstein 44 viii, Knesebeck 46 IX.
Item No: ART 050