Working in a frank but emotional naturalistic style far different from that of her contemporaries, Käthe Kollwitz depicted a pregnant woman who stands as a universal symbol of human grief. Just a few bold strokes of crayon relay the woman’s despair. After World War I, Kollwitz’s work focused on the sorrows of those left behind: the children, widows, and mothers who underwent loss, physical neglect, and economic hardship. Her focus on grief and despair in this and other works emerged especially after her youngest son, Peter, was killed in the first months of the war.
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