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Working Woman (with Earring), 1910

Leopold Museum,
Brown etching on paper
56.8×44 cm


  • Käthe Kollwitz

    (Königsberg in Prussia/Kaliningrad1867–1945 Moritzburg)

Unfortunately not on display at the moment
The Königsberg-born draftswoman, graphic artist and painter Käthe Kollwitz (1867–1945) used art as a possibility for social commitment and political commentary – with her depictions of marginalized people, she highlighted social inequalities, injustices and socio-political ills. The eponymous Working Woman (with Earring), rendered in 1910 in a three-quarter portrait, looks past beholders into space with a joyless, disillusioned and hopeless expression. The high forehead, the swollen pouches under her tired eyes, and the gaunt, austere features attest to the deprivations of a life shaped by bleakness, hardships and a struggle for survival. Kollwitz sounded out the expressive means of various printing techniques with great mastery, skillfully using the contours drawn with the etching needle, which appear as if they were torn out, in order to carve out the careworn face from the darkness through condensed strokes and open areas.

Object data

  • Käthe Kollwitz
Working Woman (with Earring)
Art movement
Graphic work
Brown etching on paper
56.8×44 cm
Signed lower right: Käthe Kollwitz
Credit line
Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 2917
Inventory access
Contributed to the Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung in 1994
Selection of Reference works
  • Deutsche Expressionisten. Mit Meisterwerken aus der Sammlung Thyssen-Bornemisza, hrsg. von Rudolf Leopold/Michael Fuhr, Wien 2006 (Ausst.-Kat. Leopold Museum, Wien, 28.09.2006-10.01.2007).
  • Alexandra von dem Knesebeck: Käthe Kollwitz - Werkverzeichnis der Graphik, Bern 2002.
  • August Klipstein: Käthe Kollwitz. Verzeichnis des graphischen Werkes für die Jahre 1890-1912 unter Verwendung des 1913 erschienenen Oeuvre-Katalogs von Prof. Dr. Johannes Sievers, Bern 1955.
Catalogue raisonne
  • Knesebeck 2002: 112

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Provenance research
Leopold Museum i

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