Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Paula Modersohn-Becker's "Selbstbildnis am 6. Hochzeitstag" und "Liegende Mutter mit Kind"

Wearing a necklace present in many of her works, Paula Modersohn-Becker gazes out of her 1906 "Selbstbildnis am 6. Hochzeitstag" with a calm, bold expression, her hands cradling her naked, pregnant belly. The striking quality of this self-portrait only increases when one learns she wasn't pregnant when she painted it. In the equally startling "Liegende Mutter mit Kind" (and her many drawings of similar images), a nude woman nurses a baby. These images transform the tradition of paintings of female nudes as much as the direct gaze of Édouard Manet's "Olympia" had in 1865. But sadly, Modersohn-Becker herself died in November 1907, nineteen days after the birth of her daughter Mathilde. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 21 July 2021)

Paula Moderson-Becker - Selbstbildnis am 6 Hochzeitstag (1906)


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