Nineteenth-century German artist Paula Modersohn-Becker (1876-1907) defied every convention of an artist at the time: she was a professional female artist, she painted everyday scenes of women’s life and self-portraits—including during her pregnancy—and she used a rich, earthy palette, including many pinks. In this accessible introduction to the artist, art historian Uwe M. Schneede tells the story of how Modersohn-Becker became one of the most important artists of the modern movement.
Schneede conducts a thorough visual analysis of Modersohn-Becker’s paintings, examining how she painted women, including herself, in a way that had not been seen before and unpacking why her images have remained so significant. This study is paired with a revealing discussion of the artist’s short life, from her early classes at the Association of Berlin Women Artists to creating the first-known female nude self-portraits.
Featuring rarely seen images from Modersohn-Becker’s archive, as well as fascinating insight into her life and work, Paula Modersohn-Becker presents a welcome opportunity to get to know this key modern artist.
Uwe M. Schneede
Uwe M. Schneede is a German art historian and curator of contemporary art and the former director of the Hamburger Kunsthalle.