Label Text: Throughout her career, drawing remained Käthe Kollwitz’s essential means of expression. In her early sketches of working class women and their families, her observations are sensitively rendered to convey the emotional connection between artist and subject. By the time Kollwitz created The Widow, she had abandoned using actual models. Instead she created figures that embodied, rather than depicted, the deepest human responses to loss and suffering.
In The Widow, Kollwitz used the side of the crayon to describe the figure with a few soft, diffused strokes. This is particularly evident in the figure’s face. Dazed, sunken eyes and the partially opened mouth convey a wordless grief. The drawing’s simplicity and sensitivity communicates feelings of incomprehension, vulnerability, and helplessness.