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The Sacrifice (Das Opfer)

European Art

Created in the wake of her son’s death on the battlefield in Flanders during World War I, the prints from Käthe Kollwitz’s War (Krieg) portfolio chronicle the personal costs of combat, removing contextual and narrative details of time and place in favor of a more universal cycle of loss and mourning. The devastating toll of war on poor and working-class families was a central theme of Kollwitz’s work, and printmaking enabled her to reach wide audiences with her socialist political messages. Her poignant combination of raw expression and barbed ideology continues to resonate with contemporary realities of war and struggle worldwide.
MEDIUM Woodcut in black ink on beige, moderately thick, smooth, wove paper
  • Place Made: Germany
  • DATES 1922–1923
    DIMENSIONS image: 14 9/16 × 15 13/16 in. (37 × 40.2 cm) sheet: 18 7/8 × 25 3/4 in. (47.9 × 65.4 cm)  (show scale)
    SIGNATURE Signed, "Kathe Kollowitz" in pencil, lower right margin
    INSCRIPTIONS Lower left: "88/100"; lower right" "Bl. 1 zn Folge: Krieg/Das Opfer" Lower right in graphite: "Käthe Kollwitz"
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    CREDIT LINE Carll H. de Silver Fund
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Käthe Kollwitz (German, 1867–1945). The Sacrifice (Das Opfer), 1922–1923. Woodcut in black ink on beige, moderately thick, smooth, wove paper, image: 14 9/16 × 15 13/16 in. (37 × 40.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Carll H. de Silver Fund, 44.201.1. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.44.201.1.jpg)
    EDITION Edition: 88/100
    IMAGE overall, CUR.44.201.1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2011
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
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