Kathe Kollwitz was a German
artist who was born in Konigsberg, Germany on the 8th of July 1867.
She was a socialist and her work is said to be influenced immensely by his
grandfather and his lessons in religion and socialism. The people in minor
groups and those who were suffering really interested her and she began to pay
close attention to them. She had
started developing her art skills at the age of twelve and by the time she was sixteen
years old she began to draw those who were sailors and the working class
people. Her family especially her father and grandfather were really supportive
of her as they were the ones who implanted this idea of recognising the less
fortunate and helping them. Due to the restrictions on woman rights, she wasn’t
accepted to any colleges so she enrolled to an art school in Berlin. This made
her experience discrimination first hand and therefore she was able to feel
more attached and a part of these people who were mistreated and were
suffering. This therefore meant that in her art work this sense of isolation
and strong emotions of sadness were evident. She had unfortunately also lost
her siblings at a very young age which caused her to suffer a variety of mental
disorders such as anxiety and depression it was also said that she may have
been suffering from Alice in wonderland syndrome. From this information it is
evident that she had a very rough and dark upbringing and she was surrounded by
unfortunate events that was so traumatic which meant that even later on in her
life her work expressed these events in the form of art through the colours and
the different techniques she used to create her art work.
In her art work, Kathe
Kollwitz almost never used colour. The main reason for this is that I believe
her past experiences of life and the kind of things she was exposed to from a
very young age such as the deaths of her siblings and even the death of her son
in the wars later on in her life may have influenced and lead to her embedding
these features in her work. The lack of colour often gave her art work a dull
and dark mood which could be reflecting her depression and maybe fear to lose
another person or experience another tragic event as the dark is a seen to be a
time of the day where people might feel very vulnerable and therefore scared.
Kathe Kollwitz was very
intrigued with the lives of the less fortunate and the ones who were suffering
or dead from such a young age that we may question whether this was really
healthy for someone as young as twelve years old. It is also arguable that this
may have lead onto her having many mental disorders later on in her life.
However, the fact that Kathe Kollwitz had turned all the negative events and
experiences of her life into something positive shows that she was quite a
strong person and that she tried her hardest to look past and through all the
unfortunate things she encountered.