The Survivors By Kathe Kollwitz Essay

The Survivors By Kathe Kollwitz Essay

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The artwork I chose for the art criticism project was ‘The Survivors’ by Kathe Kollwitz. The piece was created in 1923 in Berlin, Germany, where she resided with her husband. She and her husband resided in a poorer area, and it is believed to have contributed too much of her artwork style. ‘The Survivors’ is currently displayed in two museums, the MoMA and the Kathe Kollwitz Museum. In the piece there is a woman directly in the middle, with sunken in cheek bones is draped in a black cloak. Her arms are around three small children, who look very frightened. On each side of her body there are an additional four small children who convey sadness upon their innocent faces. Also, they are outstretching their arms as if they are begging for her to give them something. In the background, on the top left side, there are two elderly men with their heads down, looking as if they are very sad and looking to the woman for help. One of the elderly men has a bright white beard that contrasts the woman’s cloak greatly. On the top right side of the background, there are two younger men looming behind the woman, their eyes are covered in bright white bandages and they are looking as if they need some form of guidance from the woman.
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Furthermore, the art piece is only in shades of black and white, which really intensifies the sadness and darkness. The expressions on the faces, the quality of the lines, the texture, and the absence of color capture the deep emotion of the figures in such a compelling way. During the period in which the piece was created, it was popular to paint in a socialistic style. Kollwitz accurately did this in all of her pieces by depicting social movements, peasant uprisings, the impact of war, and the life of the w...


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...f war because that is a topic greater than one art piece. The discussion of war has always been a hot topic and sadly I do not think it is a topic that the government officials will be easily swayed on. Lastly, the piece really shows the independence of the woman. The extreme contrast of the woman not only draws you in but it almost conveys the pain that she harbors despite keeping a strong face for her loved ones. It states that a woman, even in the darkest moments, has an extremely large impact on everyone’s lives, no matter the gender or age. It is important to make note of this because, the timing of this piece was when women’s rights were being noted and taken seriously in America. It helps the topic of giving woman entire independence from the man because despite the strength or wisdom the man contains, they still depend on the love and affection of a woman.

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