Plate 6

The Mothers, 1921-22 (published 1923)

Käthe Kollwitz

Woodcut on Japan paper

The Print and Drawing Seminar Fund P.71.145

Not on View

In this image of maternal protection, Kollwitz portrays a group of mothers banding together to guard their children from exterior threats while preventing them from leaving the safety of the circle. In 1918 Kollwitz responded to the poet Richard Dehmel's appeal to all capable Germans to sacrifice themselves to the death for the Fatherland. She believed that enough people had already fallen and quoted the poet Goethe who wrote, "Seed corn must not be ground." The inclusion of a print like this in the War series displays Kollwitz's unique outlook on this theme.

Image: No Copyright–United States. The Print and Drawing Seminar Fund

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