Date: c. 1893-1897
Technique: Lithograph, 22.3 cm x 18.5 cm
Known for her visceral interpretations of the suffering of the working class, Kathe Kollwitz impresses upon her viewer the extreme poverty experienced by the lower classes of turn of the century Europe. Listed as one of her most effective works, Death offers a disturbing image of death embracing a child. Her parents are depicted already in a state of despondent morning. Through her rendering of the figures faces, Kollwitz effectively captures the extreme psychological torment of the parents. Furthermore, the child's large vacant eyes represent an eerie sense of fear of the unknown. As if we are witnessing the moment of death. The image is further unified by an atmospheric quality which conveys a sense of stagnation and utter despair.
This lithograph was one of six lithographs and etchings included in the series inspired by Gerhart Hauptmann's, 1893, play entitled the The Weavers. According to Knesebeck, this work is a State B impression, from the editions by von der Becke as of 1931, printed in brown-black on copperplate paper with the von der Becke blindstamp in the lower right of the image.