Käthe Kollwitz

Pietà

1938
Kollwitz’s emotional subjects and technical skill made her work popular, yet the sombre expression of human suffering also generated controversy. After marrying a physician and settling in a working-class neighbourhood, she expressed her socialist ideas and compassion for her husband’s patients – the urban poor – in recurrent representations of tragedy and anguish. The subject here, while religious, is consistent with her interest in the theme of motherhood, and may be related to the loss of her own son in the First World War.

– 1963/06
Private collection [1]

1963/10 –
National Gallery of Canada, purchased from a private collection through Jerrold Morris International Gallery, Toronto[2]

[1] See note [2].

[2] The NGC purchased the bronze in October 1963 from Toronto art dealer Jerrold Morris, who acted as an agent for an unknown collector [letter from Jerrold Morris to Robert Hubbard, Chief Curator, NGC, dated June 13, 1963, Accession records, NGC curatorial file].

Signed at back on right, near base: Kollwitz

Founder's stamp: H. Noack Berlin

Title
Pietà
Date
1938
Medium
Sculpture
Materials
bronze
Dimensions
36.8 x 28 x 39.1 cm
Nationality
German
Credit line
Purchased 1963
Accession number
15050