Paula Modersohn-Becker

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Paula Modersohn-Becker (born February 8, 1876 in Dresden - Friedrichstadt as Minna Hermine Paula Becker , † November 20, 1907 in Worpswede ) was a German painter and one of the most important exponents of early expressionism . In the almost 14 years in which she was active as an artist, she created 750 paintings , around 1000 drawings and 13 etchings , which combine the most important aspects of the art of the early 20th century .



Paula Becker was the third child of a total of seven siblings. Her father was the engineer Carl Woldemar Becker (born January 31, 1841 in Odessa , † November 30, 1901 in Bremen). Paula's mother Mathilde (born November 3, 1852, Lübeck ; † January 22, 1926, Bremen) came from the Thuringian noble family von Bültzingslöwen . Paula Becker's parents married in Chemnitz in 1871 . Carl Woldemar Becker had finished his engineering studies at the Dresden Polytechnic and then worked from 1872 to 1873 as a railway engineer in an engineering office located there. In Dresden, the father worked as a construction and operations inspector at the Berlin-Dresdner Bahn , later in Bremen he was a construction officer for the Prussian railway administration .

After the death of their mother, Carl Woldemar and his brother Oskar , who carried out an assassination attempt on the Prussian King Wilhelm in 1861 , lived in Dresden ( Saxony ) at the beginning of the 1850s . Other family members were added and also settled in Dresden, such as Paul Adam von Becker since 1863 with his third wife Bianca Constanze Charlotte Alexandrine Becker, née von Douallier (born August 22, 1833 Kassel; † December 13, 1909 Dresden), and theirs Daughter of cousin Friederike Wilhelmine Becker (called "Tante Minna / Minchen") (born May 19, 1859 in Odessa), then Woldemars four younger half-siblings and five siblings from his wife Mathilde von Bültzingslöwen.

Paula is entered in the baptismal register of the Evangelical Lutheran Matthäuskirche in Dresden-Friedrichstadt for the year 1876 under number 96 as “ Minna Hermine Paula Becker ”, born “ February 8th, 3⁄4 11 o'clock ” and baptized “ April 17th ” at home by the archdeacon Otto Emil Frommhold (1841–1903). From the letters of Paula's father to his daughter is known to both Paris and Saint Petersburg and London knew and besides Russian and French and English speaking. The maternal family was similarly open to the world. Mathilde von Bültzingslöwen's father Ferdinand was the commander of a troop contingent abroad, two of her brothers had emigrated to Indonesia , New Zealand and Australia .

Art , literature and music played a major role in the upbringing of the Becker family's children . Paula, like her sisters, received piano lessons . Paula's oldest sister Milly (actually Bianca Emilie), who had a beautiful singing voice , was allowed to take singing lessons. Except for Paula, her family valued Richard Wagner - Paula Becker found him “un-German”; In the family, Goethe was considered to be the outstanding poet. Paula Becker's parents' house is classified by her biographers as liberal-bourgeois, but it was not wealthy.

The early years

Dresden-Friedrichstadt : After Paula's birth, the Becker family moved into a house at "Friedrichstrasse 29" (today "Friedrichstrasse 29" bears house number "46")


Bremen : Paula Becker's house in " Schwachhauser Chaussee 23 " (today "Schwachhauser Heerstraße"); her domicile from 1888 to 1899
“Schwachhauser Chaussée ” in 1899. View from the “ Hanoverian Railway Line ” in the direction of the city. Becker's house would be out of town directly behind the railway line.
Becker family, father Carl Woldemar Becker (left, back) and Mathilde Becker, née von Bültzingslöwen (left, sitting in the foreground), Paula Becker (standing, center of the picture in a bright reform dress ) in the winter garden at " Schwachhauser Chaussee 23 "
House of the von Kapff family on the Great Weser Bridge in "Wachtstrasse 43" (1907), the family lived here since 1899

Paula Becker spent the first twelve years of her life in Dresden- Friedrichstadt . The family lived at "Schäferstraße 59", at the corner of "Menageriestraße", one floor above the railway company's office. The family is said to have lived for a short time near the Annenkirche in the Wilsdruffer suburb . Later, after Paula's birth or child baptism in 1876, the family moved to "Friedrichstrasse 29". Your new domicile was directly opposite the Dresden-Friedrichstadt hospital ; the Becker family moved into the ground floor of the one-story building. A large front garden and an even more extensive garden area behind it were attached to it.

Little is known about these first years. All that has been handed down is a serious accident on a property in the “Villa Angermann” in “Dresdner Strasse 73” in Hosterwitz . On July 19, 1886, while playing, the ten-year-old Paula and her two cousins, the ten-year-old Cora and the eight-year-old Maidli Parizot, and the twelve-year-old Freddy von Bültzingslöwen were buried in a sand pit. While Paula and Maidli were saved in time, their cousin Cora Parizot suffocated under the masses of sand. From letters that Paula Modersohn-Becker wrote to Rainer Maria Rilke years later , we know that this experience had a strong impact on her. Her biographer Liselotte von Reinken (1983) even sees this as the cause of the sometimes ruthless determination with which Paula Modersohn-Becker pursued her artistic goals.

Oskar Becker's conviction in 1861 meant that his brother Carl Woldemar, Paula's father, faced difficulties for his further professional career.

Hanseatic City of Bremen

In 1888 the family moved to Bremen . Carl Woldemar Becker was able to accept a municipal position as a building officer there . The family lived in the Hanseatic city in a " house on Schwachhauser Chaussee 23 " (today " Schwachhauser Heerstraße "). The 2000 m² property belonged to the Prussian State Railways , which furnished the family with an official apartment in the house. Here Paula had her first small studio . Artistic life in Bremen was very lively at that time, and through friendships with the mother there was in part close contact with the artistic and intellectual circles in Bremen and around, so that the Becker family took a lively interest. For Paula's 100th birthday, individual rooms in this house were made accessible to the public again. In 1899 the family moved to their new domicile at “Wachtstrasse 43” in Bremen. It was the house of the painter and art patron Aline von Kapff .

The first art class

In April 1892 she was confirmed and accepted as a responsible member of the Evangelical Lutheran congregation . In the early summer of 1892, Paula Becker went to England , to Wiley, at her parents' request . A half-sister of her father, Marie Luisa Hill, née von Becker (1856–1914), and her uncle, the tea plantation owner Charles John Hill (1822–1894), owned an old estate, "Castle Malwood", in the Bought near Southampton . The Hill family also owned a furnished apartment in London. Paula Becker was supposed to learn housekeeping and English there . Thanks to the support of her uncle, Paula Becker also received art lessons in London. After her first sketch lessons , she attended the private art school St John's Wood Art School , where she was taught drawing from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. It was a drawing lesson based on plaster models . The school was founded in 1878 by Elíseo Abelardo Alvarez Calderón (1847-1911) and Bernard E. Ward, two art teachers in London in "7, Elm Tree Road". These art classes only lasted a short time. Paula Becker's parents originally planned to stay in London for a year; However, Paula Becker returned after six months. She had been homesick and felt uncomfortable under her aunt's authoritarian leadership.

Worpsweder landscape, around 1900; Tempera on cardboard
Teacher seminar

Mainly due to the influence of her dutiful father, Paula Becker attended a teachers ' seminar in Bremen from 1893 to 1895 (" Teachers' seminar Janson "). She followed her eldest sister Milly (actually Bianca Emilie), who had also attended this seminar, and the youngest sister Herma (1885–1963), who later also received a teacher training course. She passed her teacher examination on September 18, 1895. During this time, Paula Becker received private painting lessons - a courtesy of her father, because Paula Becker had been reluctant to begin training as a teacher .

Children's head with white cloth, around 1900, private collection; Tempera on cardboard

The painting lessons took place with the painter Bernhard Wiegandt and was the first opportunity for Paula Becker to work from a living model. A number of portraits of her siblings and the first self-portrait , which is dated to the year 1893, date from this period . Paula Becker was allowed to set up her first studio in the extension of her parents' house. The anecdotal reports of granddaughter Gisela Blasius, her grandmother was a cold lady in the Becker house, drew an exhausted and resting vegetable woman on the fence in front of her property while she was sleeping. The suddenly awakening woman was very upset about it and insulted the young Paula Becker.

In September 1895 Paula Becker passed the teacher examination with a good result. In the early summer of 1898, her uncle Wulf von Bültzingslöwen (1847–1907) donated a trip to Norway as a reward for successfully completing her studies; They both got to know Edvard Munch's painting on site .

In the spring of 1893 Paula Becker saw pictures of the Worpswede artist group for the first time . Otto Modersohn , Fritz Mackensen , Fritz Overbeck , Hans am Ende and Heinrich Vogeler exhibited their paintings in the Kunsthalle Bremen . Paula Becker was impressed, but her diary entries do not reveal any particular enthusiasm. However, she particularly liked a picture of her future husband Otto Modersohn - they were impressed by the strange tinted colors and the way in which he captured the mood in the heather .

Art class in Berlin
Paula Modersohn-Becker, photo from 1895

Paula Becker owes it to her mother's family that she was able to travel to Berlin in the spring of 1896, or more precisely from April to May, to attend a six-week course at the drawing and painting school of the Association of Berlin Artists on Potsdamer Strasse 38 ”to participate; the teachers were Jacob Alberts and Curt Stoeving . She lived with her mother's eldest sister, Pauline Rabe (1840–1901) at "Perleberger Straße 23".

From October 1896 she began a year and a half training: portrait painting with Jacob Alberts and Martin Körte , nude painting with Ernst Friedrich Hausmann (1856–1914), landscape painting with Ludwig Dettmann . During this time, the young painter lived with her aunt Herma Parizot in "Eisenacher Straße 61" on the 4th floor, staircase 3. She is said to have often met with Rilke , who lived in Berlin-Schmargendorf .

But she had also lived in the house of her uncle Wulf von Bültzingslöwen in Berlin-Schlachtensee . This painting school was very respected; Käthe Kollwitz began her training at this school eleven years earlier . Paula Becker was not allowed to study at an art academy as a woman (see women's studies ).

After completing the six-week course, Paula Becker was able to continue her classes at the school. Apparently her mother had managed to get a reduction in school fees . To cover the cost of painting lessons, Mathilde Becker took a pensioner into her house. Her mother's brother, Wulf von Bültzingslöwen, and his wife Cora had also agreed to let Paula live with them and pay for her daily maintenance.

In the training, drawing lessons dominated, in which living models were used. Only those who knew how to draw were admitted to the painting classes. From this time there are still a number of nude drawings by Paula Becker in which the linear was strongly emphasized and which show clear light-dark contrasts.

In February 1897 she was admitted to the first painting class with Jeanna Bauck , an artist, at the women's academy of the Association of Berlin Women Artists . Paula Becker mainly painted portraits . Her wish to live in Paris for a while can be traced back to Jeanna Bauck, who was enthusiastic about Paula Becker. She spent the summer of 1897 in Bremen again. She went on a trip to Worpswede with her family as part of their parents' wedding anniversary. She stayed there for a few weeks with her Berlin painter friend Paula Ritter. In October 1897 she resumed her artistic training in Berlin with Jeanna Bauck. From here she traveled to Dresden to the "International Art Exhibition Dresden 1897" at the royal Great Garden. For an admission price of 50 pfennigs she saw works by Monet , Overbeck and Sisley and others. a. m., but also sculptures by Rodin and Meunier .

In 1899 she got to know Carl Vinnen and met Carl Hauptmann in Berlin . She traveled to Switzerland. During her time in Berlin, Paula Becker spent a lot of time in museums. The numerous visits to the Berlin museums led to the tracing of the works of many well-known artists. Like the Nazarenes almost 70 years earlier, she particularly valued the artists of the German and Italian Renaissance . These painters included Albrecht Dürer , Lucas Cranach , Hans Holbein the Elder , Tizian , Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci . She preferred painters who tend towards large, clear forms and who particularly emphasize the linear construction.

Bog canal with peat barges , around 1900; Tempera on cardboard

Worpswede and Paris

Your stays in Worpswede:

  • In summer 1897 for the first time in Worpswede, from October to November trips to Dresden, Berlin and Vienna .
  • 1900 in the summer to February 1903 second stay in Worpswede.
  • In March 1903 she returned to Worpswede.
  • Summer 1905 to February 1906 return to Worpswede.
  • The last stay in Worpswede; In March 1907 Paula Modersohn-Becker returned to Worpswede with her husband, where she died.

Modersohn-Becker was in Paris four times:

  • January to June 1900 first stay in Paris, she attended the Académie Colarossi and the École des Beaux-Arts , she took the night train to Paris on New Year's Eve 1900 on Sunday .
  • February to March 1903 the second visit to Paris, courses at the Académie Colarossi.
  • February to April 1905 for the third time in Paris, nude course at the Académie Julian , she met her younger sister Herma, who was studying language here, and initially lived again at "29, Rue Cassette", but moved on February 20, 1905 to "n ° 65 Rue Madame". From March 29 to April 7, 1905, Otto Modersohn, Milly (Bianca Emilie) Becker, and Martha and Heinrich Vogeler visited her in Paris. Courses at the Académie Julian.
  • February to October 1906 fourth stay in Paris, anatomy course at the École des Beaux-Arts . She lived in a new studio, which she moved into at the end of October at “n ° 29 49 Boulevard du Montparnasse” in the home of the Académie Vitti .

Move to Worpswede

Moorgraben, 1900 to 1902; Tempera on cardboard

On the occasion of their parents' silver wedding anniversary , the Becker family went on a trip to the small village of Worpswede at the gates of Bremen in the summer of 1897 , in the middle of the Teufelsmoor . Paula Becker was deeply impressed by the landscape and its play of colors, the loneliness of the place and the artists' colony there . Before the beginning of the fall semester of 1897, she went there again with a friend to hike and see the painters. When she inherited 600 marks in January 1898  and her childless relatives Arthur and Grete Becker granted her an annual pension of 600 marks limited to three years so that she could continue her education, she decided, with the support of her parents, to go to Worpswede. Originally only a short vacation stay was planned. Mathilde Becker planned that her daughter would enjoy painting and drawing lessons with Fritz Mackensen for a few weeks and then take an au pair position in Paris in the fall . It was thanks to the father's influence that Mackensen actually found himself ready to support the daughter in her painting studies. When Paula Becker went to Worpswede in September 1898, however, a longer stay was apparently already planned.

One of her friends, alongside Clara Westhoff, was Ottilie Reylaender , whom she also visited in Paris in 1901. Reylaender had been taught by Fritz Mackensen when she was only fifteen years old in 1898 because of her talent for drawing and through the mediation of her teacher, the local poet Johann Hinrich Fehrs .

The Worpswede artists' colony

The artists who had settled in Worpswede since 1889 felt independent of the art academies . Most of them were students of the Düsseldorf Art Academy , famous since Wilhelm von Schadow , but, like many artistic communities of the 19th century, were critical of academic art training and its studio painting . By retreating to Worpswede, they wanted to seek a new understanding of nature in their painting , similar to the “ Barbizon School ” founded by Théodore Rousseau . The goals were a simple, unadulterated painting in the open air and a positive representation of the peasantry, which was perceived as original and unspoilt. The female artists around the fin de siècle were disrespectfully ironically referred to as " painters ".

Girl in the garden next to a glass ball, (Elsbeth), around 1901/1902; Oil tempera on cardboard

Paula Becker developed a close friendship with Clara Westhoff , who wanted to become a sculptor and took modeling and drawing lessons from Mackensen. After the relationship between Paula Becker and the Worpswede artists was initially very cautious, from March 1899 contact intensified with the married couple Helene, née Schröder (1868–1900), and Otto Modersohn as well as with Heinrich Vogeler, under whose guidance they were in the summer of 1899 created some etchings . The disciplined and colorless graphic work with printing plate and etching needle was not particularly suitable for her.

From around 1898 she designed, on behalf of the Cologne chocolate producer Ludwig Stollwerck, together with her future husband Otto Modersohn and the Worpswede artists Fritz Overbeck and Heinrich Vogeler Stollwerck , for example goose boy with flute and peasant woman with two geese as well as portraits of six women with flower tendrils.

At first Paula Becker found art lessons with Fritz Mackensen very helpful, but by the end of 1898 she had the feeling that he was not the right teacher for her. With her art tending to simplify form and color, she found no artistic inspiration, not only in Worpswede. The devastating criticism that she received about her first participation in an exhibition towards the end of 1899 had also made it clear to her that her painting was outside the general German art scene. Gustav Pauli , the new director of the Kunsthalle Bremen , made it possible for her to take part in the exhibition. She exhibited together with the painter Marie Bock , and both of them came under heavy criticism from a Bremen editor-in-chief . As noted in the annals of the Kunsthalle, the exhibition of Becker's works did not go well. The nude drawings and two landscape pictures by the two women were left in the exhibition for only a few (five) days; sharp criticism of their early work meant that she had to remove her pictures while the exhibition was still ongoing. In the Weser-Zeitung on December 20, 1899 , Emil Fitger announced about the two pictures exhibited:

“For the work of the two women mentioned, the vocabulary of a clean language is not enough and we do not want to borrow from an unclean language. Had such an ability in the musical or mimic field had the nerve to venture into the concert hall or on the stage, a storm of hissing and whistling would soon have put an end to the gross nonsense ... "

His brother Arthur Fitger and the "new art" of the reprehensible Worpsweder were antipodes - he was fond of the artists' colony Dötlingen , where he often visited Georg Müller vom Siel . Arthur Fitger was a staunch opponent of the modern trend. Every time a new exhibition appeared in the Kunsthalle, he published a sharp criticism in the "Weser-Zeitung", the most respected newspaper in town, edited by his brother Emil Fitger.

Artists like Max Slevogt , Lovis Corinth , Max Liebermann or Wilhelm Leibl celebrated their first successes in Munich and later in Berlin; the German Impressionism remained severe forms of the Biedermeier salon painting faithful. As was common at the time, Paula Becker also wanted to study in Paris to get to know the local art scene .

The first study visit to Paris

Portrait of a girl, 1901, Städelsches Kunstinstitut
Head of a Little Girl (Elsbeth), 1902
Child on a red-diced pillow, 1904

On New Year's Eve 1899 Paula Becker set out for Paris , an approximately seventeen-hour train journey ahead of her. Just as Rome was a magnet for German artists at the turn of the 19th century, Paris had become the leading European art center at the end of the 19th century, and numerous German artists, including Emil Nolde , Karl Hofer , Bernhard Hoetger , Emmi Walther and Käthe Kollwitz , spent some time in Paris in the first decade of the 20th century and attended one of the many mostly private art schools. Clara Westhoff, the friend from Worpswede, had been in Paris since the end of 1899 because she hoped to become a pupil of Auguste Rodin .

In 1900 Paula Becker studied at the Académie Colarossi on Montparnasse in “n ° 10 Rue de la Grande-Chaumière” in the 6th arrondissement, Paris. Her teachers were Courtois , Collin and Louis-Auguste Girardot (1856-1933). That year the Paris 1900 World Exhibition , Exposition Universelle de 1900, took place in Paris (April 15 to November 12, 1900). As a landmark, the Eiffel Tower was erected as a monumental structure from 1887 to 1889 .

Almost at the same time, Heinz Witte -Lenoir , who came from near Bremen, arrived in Paris. Both took courses in life drawing at the Académie Colarossi. Heinz Witte-Lenoir reported: “In my workshop I had some drawings by Florain, Steinlen and Degas as well as a bale of Indian handicrafts that had not yet been unpacked and that we admired together with some colleagues. I remember that my ocher nudes had a strong interest in them and that some time later they came back with an Englishwoman to look at them again. It wasn't the case that Paula Modersohn was more important to me than many of my other acquaintances at the time. "

Paula Becker was able to afford this stay financially because she was still receiving her relatives' pension. She moved into a small room in the atelier building at "n ° 9 Rue Campagne Première" in the rear building, which she furnished with furniture from junk and boxes. Her day sometimes ended very late, so the last nude classes were from 7 to 10 o'clock in the evening. As in Berlin, she went to museums again. Alone or together with Clara Westhoff, she also visited exhibitions and galleries to get to know the modern French painters. Clara Westhoff later reported how they visited the art dealer Ambroise Vollard together and Paula Becker was deeply impressed by the paintings by Paul Cézanne , who at the time was still a completely unknown artist. According to the art historian Christa Murken Altrogge , Paula Becker can be rated as the first German artist to recognize the greatness and the trend-setting of this painter. Years later, in a letter to Clara Westhoff dated October 21, 1907, she wrote that Cézanne

"Is one of the three or four painters who affected me like a thunderstorm and a great event."

It is also certain that Paula Becker visited the large exhibition of the Nabis artists during this stay in Paris . These artists, who were influenced by the Japanese color woodcut , placed emphasis on painting with an emphasis on surfaces, the color of which is a means of meaning and not a means of reproducing visual appearance.

From April 1900 the great exhibition of the century took place in Paris . Otto Modersohn and the Overbeck couple came to Paris in June for this exhibition. Paula Becker held in high esteem the landscape painter Modersohn , who was eleven years her senior . Modersohn's wife Helene, who was in poor health, stayed behind in Worpswede and died during the short time he spent in Paris. Modersohn and with him the Overbeck couple rushed back to Germany.

Return to Worpswede

14 days after the departure of Modersohn and the Overbecks, Paula Becker returned to Worpswede with Clara Westhoff. Since the 600 marks she had inherited had been  used up and the pension she had been granted had expired, her father suggested that she look for a job as governess . However, her poor health did not allow that immediately. She had overworked herself in Paris and at the same time lived so spartan out of thrift that the doctor ordered her to rest. During this time Paula Becker wrote the diary entry that is often quoted in her biographies because it seems to indicate a premonition of her early death:

“… I know I won't live very long. But is that sad? Is a festival nicer because it's longer? And my life is a festival, a short, intense festival ... And if love is still in bloom before I part, and when I have painted three good pictures, then I want to part with flowers in my hands and in my hair. "

Paula Becker corrected this suggestion weeks later with another entry in her diary with the words And it will take a long time. I am healthy and strong and I am alive.

While she was recovering physically from her exhausting stay in Paris, Otto Modersohn occasionally kept her company. The relationship with him intensified, and on September 12, 1900, almost three months after the death of Helene Modersohn, the two became engaged .

Girl with a cat in the birch forest, 1904/1905; Oil tempera on canvas

The acquaintance of Rainer Maria Rilke also falls during the engagement period . He made friends with Heinrich Vogeler in 1898 during his stay in Florence and now came to Worpswede as Vogeler's guest. At the same time Carl Hauptmann , the brother of Gerhart Hauptmann , came to Modersohn . In the evenings they met regularly at the Barkenhoff , which the Vogelers lived in. Clara Westhoff and Paula Becker appeared to Rilke like sisters. In his diaries he called the two friends the blonde painter and the dark one, around whom there was always action, movement and narration. He was closely connected to both women. While he saw Clara Westhoff - whom he married a little later - also very strongly as the artist, he experienced Paula Becker above all as a serious friend and dedicated a poem to her that would later appear in his Das Buch der Bilder (1902) :

"... You pale child, every evening
the singer should stand dark in front of your things [...]"

- Rainer Maria Rilke: The book of pictures, 1902

In his monograph on the Worpswede painters, however, Rilke does not mention Paula Modersohn-Becker, and shortly afterwards he introduced her to Rodin as the wife of a famous painter. The painter Paula Modersohn-Becker, who, in the judgment of today's art historians, far outshines her husband's work, only noticed Rilke as an artist shortly before her death.

The two art students Clara Rilke-Westhoff and Paula Modersohn-Becker had carelessly rang the church bells of the Zionskirche in 1900 ; what had been misinterpreted as a fire alarm. As "detention work" they were given angel sputters under the gallery ceiling and flower ornaments in the spandrels of the pillars on the galleries .

Marriage to Otto Modersohn

On May 25, 1901, the Saturday before Pentecost, Otto Modersohn and Paula Becker married. Their marriage took place in Paula Becker's parents' house in Bremen. The honeymoon took them to Carl Hauptmann in Schreiberhau . Paula Modersohn-Becker had even started a cooking course in Berlin under pressure from her parents , but she broke it off early. Her reason given in a letter dated March 8, 1901 not only characterizes Paula Modersohn-Becker's person, but also her future years of marriage:

"It is good to break away from relationships that take your breath away."

Still life with Milchsatte , sometimes referred to as the breakfast table , 1905; Tempera on cardboard
Still Life with Foliage, Lemon and Orange, 1906, private collection; Tempera on canvas

After a short honeymoon, during which the couple were guests of Gerhart Hauptmann in Agnetendorf, among others , a time began for Paula Modersohn-Becker in which she tried to fulfill her duties as a wife and housewife and stepmother to the young Elsbeth (1898-1984 ) with their artistic ambitions. Her studio, the "lily studio", was a small hermitage on the farm of the Brünjes farmer. Modersohn had skylights built into the roof so that she could use the building. She organized her daily routine with the help of a maid; from nine o'clock until one in the afternoon she painted in her studio, then came home to eat and returned to her studio at three o'clock, where she often stayed until seven in the evening. She tried to be a good and caring mother to her stepdaughter Elsbeth. She was the model for a series of her children's pictures: Girl in the garden next to a glass ball, which was created around 1901/02, and the head of a little girl show her stepdaughter.

The husband Otto Modersohn (before 1912)

Her husband found the first three years of their marriage very happy. From his diary entries we know that he was deeply convinced that he was married to a trend-setting artist - even if nobody else seemed to notice at the time.

Otto Modersohn, diary, Sunday June 15, 1902:

“This mutual give and take is wonderful; I feel how I learn from her and with her. Our relationship is too beautiful, more beautiful than I ever thought, I am truly happy, she is a real artist like few in the world, she has something very rare. [...] Nobody knows them, nobody appreciates them - that will be different. "

Paula Becker had found a man who loved her in Modersohn, who supported her artistic development as much as possible and put everything out of the way so that she could pursue her artistic work. Throughout his life he showed her the deepest artistic understanding. "No one has been able to glimpse their being like me."

On Sunday, April 13, 1902, he wrote in his diary :

"Talked to Paula about Paris this morning, it is a fabulous city, how rich, surprises and stimulating, like no other city. [...] From time to time the lively, spirited creature would have to get into the thick blood of the Germans of the French. How good would that be for everyone in Worpswed. […] I'm going to go to Paris again with Paula. - "

The marriage had freed Paula Modersohn-Becker from having to pursue an unpopular job in order to provide for her living. During her life, she only sold one picture each to the friends of her friends, Rilke and Vogeler - without the marriage to Modersohn she would have had to follow her father's advice and find a job as governess. While Modersohn noted in his diaries that the marriage was going better than he would have ever believed, Paula Modersohn-Becker's diary entries from Easter 1902 show signs of a more critical attitude - even if she contrasts this with self-irony:

“It's been my experience that marriage doesn't make you happier. It takes the illusion that the whole being had before that there was a sister soul. In marriage you feel doubly lack of understanding, because the whole of previous life was all about finding a being who understands ... I write this in my kitchen book on Easter Sunday 1902, sitting in my kitchen and cooking roast veal. "

Unlike her husband, who needed the quiet and seclusion of Worpswede to develop artistically, Paula Modersohn-Becker appreciated the contact and the variety:

“Paula just can't live so simply and soberly. Such a stimulating life is necessary to her like the sun is to the flower - otherwise she withers, becomes bitter. […] My only Paula, who is so very artistic and so much a life artist. [...] Paula is so superior to everyone. "

Paris 1903

Portrait of Rainer Maria Rilke , 1906, Bremen , Ludwig Roselius Collection ; Oil tempera on cardboard

In the spring of 1903 Paula Modersohn-Becker asked her husband to agree to return to Paris for a period of two months. She initially lived again in the “Grand Hotel de la Haute-Loire” at the intersection of “Boulevard Raspail” and “Boulevard du Montparnasse” before moving to “n ° 29 Rue Cassette” in the 6th arrondissement . In Paris she had a lot of conversations with the Rilke couple, even if she found the growing tensions between Rainer Maria Rilke and Clara Westhoff to be stressful.

She spent most of her time in the Louvre , drawing there based on ancient and Egyptian models. Extensive, preserved sketch pads document their activities. In her self-portraits, which were created afterwards, it can be seen that she was heavily involved with the mummy portraits from Fayum in Upper Egypt . She also visited exhibitions again with the Rilke couple. From this time there is evidence that she dealt more intensively with Japanese woodblock prints, including in the Hayashi collection , which showed old Japanese scroll paintings that were to shape Art Nouveau. Rilke also made it possible for her to visit the famous French sculptor Auguste Rodin , who showed her his studio and then invited her to his pavilion in Meudon near Paris.

Art historians occasionally suspect that Paula also saw paintings by Paul Gauguin during this time , although nothing about them is noted in her diaries. The still lifes that were created after her return to Worpswede and in which objects are depicted as colored partial areas that are subordinate to the picture as a whole show similarities to Gauguin's paintings.

In her letters to her husband, she takes a critical look at the widespread view of the French Republic in the German Empire ( German-French hereditary enmity ) and advocates more respectful interaction with one another.

Worpswede 1903 to 1905

Self-portrait against a green background with a blue iris, around 1905; Oil on canvas
Still life with lemon, orange and tomato, around 1906/1907; watercolor

As early as March 1903 she returned to Worpswede to see her husband and stepchild and brought back innumerable artistic ideas from Paris. The stay there had shown her a bond with her husband and stepdaughter. She herself wished for a child and at the time was very sorry that she had been refused until now. Among the 130 or so paintings that were created up to the end of 1904, there are still lifes as well as many portraits of children and depictions of infants and toddlers, which, unlike before, she depicts excerpts without their mothers. However, it is precisely the picture Rilke who acquired the infant with the mother's hand that turns out to be a fragment. From Thursday, July 9th to Wednesday, August 5th, 1903, the Modersohns and their daughter Elsbeth spent one of the few summer vacations on Amrum . They lived in Steenodde , initially in the "Lustigen Seehund", later with the Ricklefs family, and painted and drew in the Friesian villages.

Paula Modersohn-Becker herself cut a larger, multi-figure picture into at least three parts, as a restorer discovered. If one assumes that Otto Modersohn's criticism of September 26, 1903 referred to this picture, it seems to be the proof that, contrary to Otto Modersohn's view, she was quite prepared to consider criticism. One can assume that the destruction of this image would certainly not have been in his interest.

Otto Modersohn, diary, Saturday, September 26, 1903:

“With Meyer's work by Reyländer and Paula. Reyländer very unpleasant, superficial, conventional, outward play, twisted - a dangerous species in which there is no development. x people at the academy are like that. Paula the opposite. She hates the conventional and now falls into the mistake of making everything angular, ugly, bizarre, wooden. The color is great, but the shape? The expression! Hands like spoons, noses like pistons, mouths like wounds, expressions like cretins. She is charging too much. 2 heads 4 hands on the smallest surface, under which they don't do it and children too! It is difficult to give her advice, as is usually the case. "

Otto Modersohn wanted, especially in comparison and contrary to the general opinion in Worpswede, to state that in his eyes Paula's “color splendid”, that it is the opposite of “superficial” etc. That there is “development” in particular with “their kind” that he otherwise did not see in Worpswede.

Pictures of children, such as the child on a red-diced pillow created in 1904, show how she processed the suggestions of the Nabis artists. These connected colored areas with white bars to create carpet-like effects. Modersohn-Becker, on the other hand, places her model in a red-striped dress on a red-and-white cube-shaped pillow that forms a square area around the child and thus gives her painting a sense of unity. The level of detail with which Modersohn-Becker paints the face here is unusual. In other children's pictures from the same period, she simplifies form and color in a much more radical way and reduces the face to what is necessary.

Paris 1905

Self-portrait, 1906, Bremen ; Oil tempera on cardboard

Already in 1903, after her last short stay in Paris, Paula Modersohn-Becker had announced that she wanted to return there for a while. Although Otto Modersohn found it difficult, he gave in to his wife's renewed travel request and financed the stay. On February 14, 1905, she traveled to Paris to spend carefree days there with her sister Herma Becker. Herma worked as an au pair girl. She repeatedly urged her husband to join them after all. She again took courses in drawing at private academies, such as the Académie Julian , but became increasingly aware that she had now developed her own painterly language. Again she went to some artists of the Nabi circle , including Maurice Denis . However, the Nabi circle also had close contact with Emile Bernard , whose work brought essential stylistic impulses to the Nabis group. Although Paula Modersohn-Becker does not mention her contemporaries Emile Bernard in her letters and diaries, there are numerous stylistic and technical points of contact. Soon after her arrival in February, she lived at "n ° 65 Rue Madame" on the fifth floor.

Otto Modersohn finally gave in to her wish and came to Paris accompanied by Milly Becker, Martha and Heinrich Vogeler and his sister Marie, although his wife had indicated that she would like to experience Paris alone with him. They visited art exhibitions again together. Since Otto Modersohn's mother had died shortly before on March 8, 1905, he could no longer enjoy life in Paris the way they both had wanted. She was disappointed because he had "really spoiled" her last week in Paris. Paula Modersohn-Becker reported to her sister Herma in a letter from Worpswede on April 21, 1905:

He imagined that I would prefer to stay in Paris and think nothing of Worpswede any more. "

While art historians can only assume that Paula Modersohn-Becker saw paintings by Paul Gauguin as well as paintings by Paul Cézanne during her second visit , this is clearly proven by her husband's travel diary notes for the third visit. After her return to Worpswede she began to deal intensively with this artist and, among other things, had one of her sisters send her articles about this painter.

The last few years

Return to Worpswede - summer 1905 to February 1906

Children's nude with a goldfish bowl, 1906/1907, Munich , Pinakothek der Moderne ; Oil tempera on canvas

The third stay in Paris had inspired Paula Modersohn-Becker to turn more to the still life . Before 1905, only ten still lifes can be traced in her work; from 1905 to 1907 there are almost 50. In these, she increasingly returned the depicted objects to their basic shapes - circle, ellipse and trapezoid. During her stays in Paris in 1905 and 1906, she lived in her studio on Avenue du Maine . a. the portrait of Rainer Maria Rilke, the large mother-child compositions and her self-portrait in the form of a “half-act”.

On Wednesday, December 20, 1905, Otto Modersohn wrote in his diary: "And at the side Paula with her masterful still lifes and sketches, the boldest and best color that has ever been painted here in Worpswede." And on April 23, 1906: “Paula's wonderful still lifes have captured me completely, nothing compared to them. I've known that for a long time. "

In addition, numerous other portraits of children were created, including pictures of peasant girls sitting on a chair in which all differentiating lines and shapes are dispensed with, or blowing girl in the birch forest, which her biographer Liselotte von Reinken considers the most beautiful version of her ever new attempts, unity expressing child and nature in simple sign language. A girl, shown in strict profile, who blows on a tuter's ear, strides in front of a narrow lattice of autumn-colored trees.

The few critical comments in her husband's diaries are repeatedly counterbalanced by extremely appreciative and far-sighted statements about her art.

In his diary entry of December 11, 1905, he wrote:

"[...] paints life-size nudes and she cannot do that, nor can life-size heads [...] she lets her wonderful studies lie. Make drawings for them - learn technique - and it is done. It is highly colored - but unpaintingly hard, especially in executed figures. Revered primitive pictures, what a shame for them - should have a look at picturesque ones. Wants to combine color and shape - does not work in the way she does [...] "

Late in December, at the turn of the year, the Modersohns redeemed their invitation from Carl Hauptmann ; from December 28th to January 13th they live in Schreiberhau . There you met the sociologist Werner Sombart , among others . On a trip to Dresden they met the painter Otto Mueller .

In Paula Modersohn-Becker, the desire to go to Paris kept growing. Clara Westhoff, who lived separately from Rilke again in Worpswede, confided this wish as well as her mother, to whom she confessed in letters that she was already saving money for it. When Rilke came to Worpswede in December 1905 to celebrate Christmas with his wife and child, she also let him in on her plans. For the first time, Rilke dealt with the art of Modersohn-Becker in more detail and wrote to his patron August Karl Freiherr von der Heydt in January 1906:

“The strangest thing was to find Modersohn's wife in a very unique development of her painting, ruthless and straightforward painting, things that are very Worpswedian and that no one has ever been able to see or paint. And on this very own path, strangely touching van Gogh and his direction. "

Rilke encouraged her to leave Worpswede and with it her husband. To support her, he bought the painting Baby with Mother's Hand from her . A little later he also advised her to show her paintings at various Paris exhibitions . Paula Modersohn-Becker, however, who was very reluctant to show her pictures to others, did not want to follow this recommendation because she felt that she was not ready artistically.

The Modersohns were also frequent guests in the 1904 “Villa Sunnyside” of their maternal relatives, the von Bültzingslöwen, on the Elbe slope above Pillnitz Castle .

Separation from Otto Modersohn

Still life with a clay jug, 1907, private collection; Oil on canvas

Paula Modersohn-Becker left Worpswede on February 23, 1906. In her diary she noted that with this step she had left Otto Modersohn. The step came as a surprise to him, and he sent her letters to Paris pleading for her to come back to him. Paula Modersohn-Becker, on the other hand, asked him to familiarize herself with the idea that from now on they would go their separate ways. Otto Modersohn even came to Paris for a week in June, but the discussion between the two spouses remained inconclusive. Otto Modersohn continued to support his wife financially. Her family accused her of being selfish.

In Paris, she set up a spartan studio at “n ° 14 Avenue du Maine”. She also took drawing courses again and attended an anatomy course at the École des beaux-arts because she was dissatisfied with her painting. Again she visited numerous exhibitions. Inspired by a sculpture shown in the “ Salon des Indépendants ”, she visited the sculptor Bernhard Hoetger in his studio. When he discovered through a chance remark from her that she was a painter, Hoetger insisted on looking at her paintings. Hoetger was enthusiastic about them. For Paula Modersohn-Becker, who had previously only found support in her artistic path from her husband and shortly before she left Worpswede through Rilke, this judgment was very important:

“You gave me the most wonderful things. You gave me myself to myself. I got courage. My courage was always behind barricaded gates and didn't know where to go. You have opened the gates. You are a great giver to me. I am now also beginning to believe that something will become of me. And when I think about that, I get tears of bliss ... You have done me so good. I was a little lonely. "

- Letter to Hoetger dated May 5, 1906

Hoetger's judgment gave her the opportunity to devote herself to painting with all her might. The number of paintings that were created between 1906 and 1907 is estimated at 90 - her biographer Liselotte von Reinken noted on the occasion of this unusually high number of paintings that one would doubt because of the physical exertion involved if one did not write her letters and had diaries as evidence.

She mainly worked on nudes. In addition to still lifes, numerous self-portraits such as Self-Portrait with Lemon were created during this time . Many of them were half-nudes. She also dared to work on a type of image that had not been verifiable in art history , a self-portrait in full act.

Last return to Worpswede

The Good Samaritan 1907, Bremen, Ludwig Roselius Collection
Old poor house woman in the garden, 1907

On September 3, 1906, Paula Modersohn-Becker informed her husband that he should consent to the divorce and she asked him to give her another 500 marks. After that she wanted to pay for her own living. A few days later, on September 9, she revoked her decision. The change of opinion was largely caused by Bernhard Hoetger, who made it clear to her in the days in between how little she would be able to pay for herself financially.

“I noticed this summer that I am not the woman to stand alone… Whether I act briskly, the future can only tell us about that. The main thing is: quiet for work and that is what I have most in the long run by Otto Modersohn's side. "

- Letter to Clara Rilke-Westhoff dated November 17th

In October Paula Modersohn-Becker asked her husband to come to Paris after all so that they could try to find each other again. They stayed in Paris through the winter. She lived in a new studio that she had moved into at the end of October on "Boulevard du Montparnasse No. 49" in the home of the Académie Vitti . He moved into a studio on the same street as her and reported in his travel diary: “It was a very memorable, highly stimulating time… we had a lot of intercourse with Hoetgers, everything soon turned out fine with Paula. I got to know museums, especially the Louvre, art dealers, of course, and the whole wonderful city in general. Paula painted a lot: the Italian model with the child, in the evenings I was always in her big studio. ”In March 1907 Paula Modersohn-Becker returned to Worpswede with her husband. In Worpswede not many pictures were taken this year, but very important ones.

Her greatest wish came true: she finally got pregnant, but suffered from the fact that the pregnancy made it impossible for her to paint many hours a day, as she used to do in the past. One of the last pictures she completed is the old poor house woman in the garden . It depicts an old woman who, surrounded by a field of wild poppies, holds a thimble stalk in her hands folded in her lap. In this picture she processed suggestions from naive art. The picture was followed by a final self-portrait, the self-portrait with a camellia branch .

On November 2, 1907, Paula Modersohn-Becker, who had painted herself heavily pregnant, gave birth to her daughter Mathilde (“Tille”, 1907–1998) after a difficult birth. The doctor told her to go to bed. On November 20, she was allowed to get up for the first time, whereupon an embolism set in, from which she died at the age of 31. “What a shame!” Said Otto Modersohn, were her last words (Bohlmann-Modersohn: Otto Modersohn, Leben und Werk. P. 184).

“It is impossible to imagine what else would have happened if she had lived any longer. In the last few months she has dreamed a lot about Italy, which she had never seen, about files in the open air, about large-figure pictures. One can only guess what else she would have given the world. "

- Otto Modersohn: A book of friendship, 1932

Paula Modersohn-Becker found her final resting place in a grave in the churchyard of the Zionskirche , which has stood there on the Weyerberg in Worpswede since 1759 .

The work

Self-portrait, 1906, private collection; Oil tempera on cardboard and paper
Sunny children, around 1903, tempera on cardboard, Hamburger Kunsthalle

Paula Modersohn-Becker's work includes portraits, portraits of children, depictions of the rural world in Worpswede, landscapes , still lifes , portraits and self-portraits . The latter accompanied her throughout her creative period. In this she can be compared to Käthe Kollwitz , whose personal development is also reflected in her self-portraits. Heinrich Vogeler wrote of her self-portraits in his memoirs:

“Paula Becker often painted herself. In addition to the charming simple portrait from the early days, they are mostly self-portraits of a woman who is becoming aware of her strength, the upper lip has lost its softness, it energetically emphasizes the clear, observing gaze of the eyes. "

In her early work, she still gives expression to the impressionistic influences, an atmospheric painting that applies warm, earthy colors as well as motifs of rural idylls. Often rendered as fleeting and superficial scenes. But her artistic expression changes, during her second stay in Paris around 1900, monumentality and rigor in composition and form gain in importance. They refer to an intensive examination of the works of Paul Gauguin , Henri Matisse and Paul Cézanne, for example .

Linked to this, the (intentional) compositional structure of the picture becomes significant for her, so she first determines the detail, shape and color. In the strong linework , strongly differentiating lines and shapes are dispensed with in favor of a two-dimensional painting style, while she experiments with new color and shape constellations. For example, painting objects are framed with black contours , and the objects depicted are reduced to their basic geometric shapes, such as circles , ellipses and trapezoids . With that she leaves naturalistic landscape representations.

She experimented with brushwork , so on the one hand the oil or tempera paint was applied in a paste -like manner in one and the same work , so that the individual brushstrokes can still be recognized, which are depicted as relief-like color structures, while at the same time other surfaces were applied completely evenly.

Since tempera paints as an emulsion contain both oily and watery components, the drying process of the painting materials takes place slowly, which means that artistic production can be corrected over a longer period of time. Furthermore, the drying process of the paint does not produce any fine cracks, as is the case with oil paints. A disadvantage of tempera is that it is not easy to paint, making flowing color transitions difficult to reproduce and the color intensity of the tempera paint is paler than that of the oil paint after drying.

The question of the arrangement of the figures and objects is almost always at the center of her picture design; or how are people and objects spatially combined in the picture. Second, the distance, the central projection of the reproducing figures, is important if the person is to be reproduced from very close or from a distance. Then about the objects themselves, how should the shapes be geometrically simplified and contoured so that the expression can be more clearly. This creates the typical, often woodcut - like shape. And finally, which colors or hues are to be used in order to make the artistic expression , the artistic experience of the painter transparent for the viewer; even more, how is the viewer addressed emotionally, to a certain extent shaken and shaken inside. In her works, she chooses complementary colors ( complementary contrast) and hard contours, often with black or dark outlines in order to increase the contrast. The last two aspects, the design and the choice of colors, determine her oeuvre .

She painted herself particularly often during 1906, when she tried to make herself independent from influences from the artistic environment and from her husband. During this time, she also created her nude self-portraits , which in art history are considered to be the first female nude self-portraits . They are extremely bold for the pictorial tradition of the time and violated all art conventions.

Self-portrait on the 6th wedding anniversary in 1906

The rural scenes are deliberately unromantic, not accusatory and, unlike Käthe Kollwitz, do not focus on the social aspect. They are dominated by a sympathy for people and an interest in form and construction. Contrary to academic rules, the image space is often reduced to a large area and begins at the lower edge of the image. The frame edge often overlaps parts of the display. This “unsightly” depiction of peasant life clearly distinguished her from the painting that was common at the time, in which rural life was heroized. Their depictions also have little in common with the more genre-like depictions of rural milieu descriptions by the Worpswede group of artists .

Her portraits of children are also unusual. They are free from anything sentimental , playful or anecdotal and show a serious and unadorned perception of children. It stands out clearly from the portraits of children from the late 19th century, such as those painted by Hans Thoma , Hermann Kaulmann or Ferdinand Waldmüller . However, she has also aroused the most incomprehension with this representation.

The art historian Christa Murken-Altrogge has drawn attention to the stylistic closeness between her children's portraits and the paintings of the young Picasso , which are attributed to the Blue and Pink Periods and which were created at the same time. In the portraits from 1906 and 1907, however, elements of the geometric-constructive style of Cubism can also be seen .

Reception history

It is mainly thanks to the commitment of Otto Modersohn and Heinrich Vogeler, who cataloged their estate together with Curt Stoermer , that their paintings were shown in several exhibitions in the years after Paula Modersohn-Becker's death. Vogeler only recognized the importance of the painter Paula Modersohn-Becker and her work after her untimely death - some Modersohn-Becker biographers see in his committed commitment to her work a compensation for the fact that he only perceived her as the wife of his artist colleague Otto Modersohn for a long time. Paula Modersohn-Becker only sold about five paintings during her life - it was only thanks to the early exhibitions in the first years after her death that some collectors became aware of her and began to purchase her paintings. These collectors include Herbert von Garvens , August von der Heydt , who, inspired by Rilke, acquired 28 of her paintings, and Ludwig Roselius , on whose initiative the Paula Modersohn-Becker Museum in Bremen can be traced back. In 1913, 129 of her paintings were shown in the Kunsthalle Bremen, and an ever-growing following began to appreciate her pictures for their formal density and their parable expressiveness.

On the tenth anniversary of her death in 1917, the Kestnergesellschaft organized a large exhibition of her works and published a selection of her letters and diary entries. This collection, published under the title An Artist: Paula Becker-Modersohn - Letters and Diary Pages was a success and made her name known. They have been reprinted several times and also appeared in paperback after the Second World War. But they have also led to a long-lasting sentimental interpretation of her person: a girl who dreams of becoming an artist, is able to implement this path against resistance and due to fortunate circumstances, before a possible life as a governess through marriage with a well-known and recognized artist, after an initially happy marriage, increasingly feels trapped in this marriage, tries to break out and dies shortly afterwards in childbirth . Even if the determination of her artistic self-discovery aroused admiration, she sometimes blocked the view of the artist Paula Modersohn-Becker. The very personal diaries and letters never intended for publication are carried by an enthusiastic-romantic attitude of mind that contradicts Modersohn-Becker's imagery. So she wrote u. a .:

Yes, most people are like that. They write down the accidents in their memory and diligently memorize them; but they ignore the happiness, the happiness ... poor, poor world.

Based on these notes, Paula Modersohn-Becker is perceived as a “transfigured fantasy figure”, wrote Günter Busch in his introductory essay for the new edition of her letters and diaries, which appeared in 1979. One of the reasons for this was that the selection published in 1917 did not counteract some passages of the diary with the appropriate corrective. This issue contains her apparent premonition of death, which she wrote down during her illness after her first stay in Paris. The jubilant And it will still take a long time that she held on when her health got better shortly afterwards is missing. In 2007 the edition of the letters and diary sheets edited by Günter Busch and Liselotte von Reinken , revised and expanded by Wolfgang Werner, was reissued. This, so far most complete version of her written certificates corrects the view of the artist in many details and allows a sober look at her life and work.

In 1919 the first catalog of works was published by Gustav Pauli , the art historian and director of the Bremen Kunsthalle . At that time, the catalog of works listed only 259 works, but it was gradually expanded in the following years. Modersohn-Becker was mostly assigned to the group of Worpswede artists, although her art was clearly outside this group. Her landscape pictures, for example, show a greater stylistic relationship to the paintings by Max Pechstein or Gabriele Münter .

The Paula Modersohn-Becker Museum in Bremen was inaugurated on June 2, 1927 . Numerous other exhibitions followed by 1933. During the time of National Socialism , Modersohn-Becker's work was considered degenerate art . It was removed from museums, and individual paintings were sold abroad. Abroad, Paula Modersohn-Becker was a largely unknown artist until then; the sales meant that they were now also noticed abroad. Nevertheless, even today she is one of the unknown artists abroad - her role as an artist who foresaw the artistic worldview of the 20th century is predominantly perceived in German-speaking countries. Contributing to this limited perception of the artist Modersohn-Becker is that, unlike Gauguin, van Gogh or Cézanne, no artist demonstrably dealt creatively with her conception of art and further developed her image ideas; their work has not become “school-educating” and is largely isolated.

The systematic processing of her entire oeuvre did not begin until after the Second World War and mostly took place in connection with large retrospectives on the occasion of various memorial days. Some of her works were also included in the exhibition concept of documenta 1 (1955) and documenta III in 1964 in Kassel . The verdict that Rilke passed on her work shortly before her death still holds true after this systematic appraisal. Modersohn-Becker shows a close relationship to the new artistic trends at the beginning of the 20th century. Inspired by the work of the avant-garde French artists with whom she dealt during her stays in Paris, she has developed an independent visual language in which elements of Expressionism, Fauvism and Cubism are shown as well as references to the art of bygone eras. This is also confirmed by a look at the catalog raisonné of paintings compiled by Günter Busch and Wolfgang Werner in 1998, which includes over 750 works. The exhibitions taking place in Bremen in 2007/2008 shed light on Paula Modersohn-Becker's connections to fields as diverse as contemporary art in Paris and the ancient Egyptian mummy portraits and once again show the wide-ranging interests of the artist. In 2014, in the exhibition Paula Modersohn-Becker: Berlin - Worpswede - Paris in the Paula Modersohn-Becker Museum, the influence of three places that were important for the artist on her work was thematized. In Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Copenhagen her work was in the winter 2014/2015 with 150 exhibited works (including 90 paintings) dedicated a major retrospective.

In April 2007, her oil painting “Three Seated Girls” was auctioned at the Bremen auction house Bolland & Marotz for 150,000 euros .

From April 8 to August 21, 2016, a special exhibition entitled “Paula Modersohn-Becker: L'intensité d'un regard” took place in the Musée d'art moderne de la Ville de Paris . This was the first time that her oeuvre was presented in a coherent manner in France.

Paula Modersohn-Becker Foundation

In 1978, Modersohn-Becker's daughter Tille Modersohn (1907–1998; actually Mathilde) founded the Paula Modersohn-Becker Foundation in Bremen. She worked as a welfare worker, remained childless and took care of her mother's work. She gave the works in her possession to her mother, consisting of more than 50 paintings along with around 500 drawings and other etchings in print form.

The foundation is located in Bremen at Rembertistraße 1A

Paula Modersohn-Becker Museum and Paula Becker House in Bremen

The Paula Modersohn-Becker Museum in Bremer Böttcherstraße permanently shows masterpieces by Paula Modersohn-Becker. The museum and the expressionist museum building go back to Ludwig Roselius (1874–1943), who commissioned Bernhard Hoetger (1874–1949) to design the building in which his collection of works by Paula Modersohn-Becker was to be housed. On June 2, 1927, the museum building was opened under the name Paula-Becker-Modersohn-Haus ; Ludwig Roselius put the maiden name of Paula Modersohn-Becker in front of the naming. Ludwig Roselius' collection was expanded through new acquisitions and loans from the Paula Modersohn-Becker Foundation. The museum also houses a collection of sculptures, paintings and drawings by Bernhard Hoetger. The exhibition rooms are also used for special exhibitions.

In 2007 an exhibition by Paula Modersohn-Becker and the Egyptian mummy portraits was shown in the museum . The curator was the director of the Böttcherstraße museums, Rainer Stamm, who published a biography of the artist in the same year (see below).

Museum at the Modersohn House in Worpswede

The former home of the Modersohns in Worpswede, Hembergstraße 19, shows some of their pictures and a few pieces of furniture. Further works by painters of the first Worpswede generation of painters are shown in a modern museum extension.

Monuments to Paula Modersohn-Becker

Memorial at the Kunsthalle in Bremen ; Bronze cast of the bust created by the sculptor Clara Westhoff in 1899
Funerary monument in the Worpsweder cemetery by Bernhard Hoetger (1907)

As early as 1899, the sculptor Clara Westhoff made a bust of her friend Paula Becker - a symbol of their friendship and their shared passion for art. A cast of this striking head, the original of which is exhibited in the collection of the Kunsthalle Bremen , has been on view in the Bremen Wallanlagen since the 100th anniversary of the artist's death on November 20, 2007. The bronze cast of the bust is attached to a stone base created by the Lower Saxon artist Hawoli .

“A person came in to us once, whose image was imprinted in a special way. Was it the attitude that seemed more determined than that of other people, the clever brown look that made you feel: Stop, someone is here, watch out! ”This is how Clara Rilke-Westhoff reported in a memorial in 1932 about her first meeting with Paula Becker in 1898. A year later, the sculptor created a close-to-nature, intense image of 23-year-old Paula with the bust of her companion, which at the same time expresses deep admiration for her friend. In 1908, after the death of her friend, she reworked this plaster sculpture and had the second, idealized version cast in bronze.

Her grave monument in the Worpswede cemetery shows a dying mother and was created from 1916 to 1919 by the sculptor Bernhard Hoetger , who has lived in Worpswede since 1914 and to whom she owed important artistic impulses.

Other posthumous honors are the Paula-Modersohn-Becker postage stamp from the Women of German History series and the naming of the “Paula-Modersohn-Becker-Steg” in Bremen - the city in which she began her artistic career. Furthermore, a school in Bremerhaven was named in her honor .

Films about Paula Modersohn-Becker

  • With my eyes - Paula Modersohn-Becker's self-portraits, directed by Wilfried Hauke ​​(television documentary, 26 min., Germany 2007).
  • Paula Modersohn-Becker - story of a painter, directed by Wilfried Hauke ​​(TV fiction, 60 min., Germany 2007).
  • Paula Modersohn-Becker, one breath…, directed by Nathalie David (documentary, 82 min., Germany 2007).
  • Paula - My life should be a festival , directed by Christian Schwochow (biography / drama, 123 min., Germany 2016)
  • 4 × Paris Paula Modersohn-Becker, directed by Corinna Belz (26 min., Germany / France 2016)

See also


Works directories, catalogs

  • Paula Modersohn-Becker - Catalog raisonné of the paintings. Volume 1: Articles; Volume 2: Catalog of the paintings. Günter Busch, Wolfgang Werner Editor, Hirmer, Munich 1998. ISBN 3-7774-7330-8 .
    • Gabriele Gorgas: One of the greats of this century. First comprehensive catalog raisonné of paintings by Paula Modersohn-Becker published. In: Dresdner Latest News . August 2, 1999.
  • Brigitte Uhde-Stahl: Paula Modersohn-Becker. Painting. Schirmer / Mosel, Munich 2007. ISBN 978-3-88814-413-4 .

Diaries, personal reports

  • Günter Busch , Liselotte von Reinken (ed.): Paula Modersohn-Becker in letters and diaries. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 1979, ISBN 3-10-050601-4 .
  • Paula Modersohn-Becker, Sophie Dorothee Gallwitz : An artist - Paula Becker-Modersohn. Letters and diary sheets. Kestner Society, Hanover 1917.
  • Günter Busch, Liselotte von Reinken (ed.): Paula Modersohn-Becker in letters and diaries. 2nd revised and expanded edition. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2007 (In this book you can read all quotations from Paula Modersohn-Becker's diaries and letters under their respective date.).
  • Peter Elze: Days of God. Paula Modersohn-Becker in pictures, letters and diary entries from Worpswede. Best Times, Bremen 2003, ISBN 3-88808-530-6 .
  • Liselotte von Reinken : Paula Modersohn-Becker with personal reports and photo documents. Rowohlt Taschenbuch, Reinbek 1983, ISBN 3-499-50317-4 .
  • Antje Modersohn, Wolfgang Werner (eds.): Paula Modersohn-Becker and Otto Modersohn, the correspondence. Insel, Berlin 2017, ISBN 978-3-458-17729-6 .


  • Paula Modersohn-Becker - a biography with letters. Updated new edition. Marina Bohlmann-Modersohn btb, Berlin 2007, ISBN 978-3-442-73643-0 (contains the very well-researched reception story in Chapter 15 as the only new publication).
  • Paula Modersohn-Becker: The Letters and Journals of Paula Modersohn-Becker. Translated and annotated by J. Diane Radycki. Introduction by Alessandra Comini . Epilogue of poetry by Rainer Maria Rilke ( Requiem, 1908, translated by Adrienne Rich and Lilly Engler) and by Adrienne Rich ("Paula Becker to Clara Westhoff", 1975–76). The Scarecrow Press, Metuchen NJ / London 1980, ISBN 0-8108-1344-0 .
  • Renate Berger , Anja Herrmann (Ed.): Paris, Paris! Paula Modersohn-Becker and the artists around 1900. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2009, ISBN 978-3-17-020714-1 .
  • Renate Berger: Paula Modersohn-Becker: Paris - life as if in a frenzy. Lübbe non-fiction book, Bergisch Gladbach 2007, ISBN 978-3-7857-2308-1 .
  • Barbara Beuys : Paula Modersohn-Becker or: when art is life. Hanser, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-446-20835-3 .
  • Christa Bürger : Life. To paint. In: The time . September 13, 2007.
  • Kerstin Decker : Paula Modersohn-Becker. A biography. Propylaea, Berlin 2007, ISBN 978-3-549-07323-0 .
  • Marie Darrieussecq: Être ici est une splendeur. Vie de Paula M. Becker. Paul Otchakovsky Laurens, Paris 2016, ISBN 978-2-8180-3906-9 .
  • Monika Keuthen: "... and I paint!" Paula Modersohn-Becker. Econ-List, Munich 1999/2001, ISBN 3-612-26605-5 .
  • Rainer Stamm : A short, intense party. Paula Modersohn-Becker. A biography. Reclam-Verlag, Stuttgart 2007, ISBN 978-3-15-010627-3 .
  • Christa Murken : Paula Modersohn-Becker. DuMont Buchverlag, Cologne 2007, ISBN 978-3-8321-7768-3 .
  • Christa Murken-Altrogge: Paula Modersohn-Becker. DuMont Buchverlag, Cologne 1991, ISBN 3-7701-2677-7 .
  • Gustav Pauli : Paula Modersohn-Becker. Kurt Wolff Verlag, Leipzig 1919 ( ).
  • Heinrich Wiegand Petzet: The portrait of the poet. Paula Becker-Modersohn and Rainer Maria Rilke. Societäts-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1957.
  • Rainer Stamm : A short, intense party. Paula Modersohn-Becker. A biography. Reclam, Stuttgart 2007.
  • Jürgen Teumer: Sometimes I thought of my grave ... Paula Modersohn-Becker's grave in the Worpswede cemetery. Donat, Bremen 2005, ISBN 3-938275-01-4 .
  • Charlotte Ueckert : Paula Modersohn-Becker. Rowohlt, Reinbek 2007, ISBN 978-3-499-50567-6 .
  • Association of Berlin Women Artists 1867 e. V. (Ed.): Käthe, Paula and all the rest . Lexicon of women artists. A reference work. Berlin 1992.
  • Doris Hansmann: Paula Modersohn Becker. Wienand's small series of artist biographies. Wienand Verlag, Cologne 2015, ISBN 978-3-86832-210-1 .

Novel biographies, novels

  • Klaus Modick: Concert without a poet. Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Cologne 2016, ISBN 978-3-462-04990-9 .
  • Stephanie Schröder: Paula Modersohn-Becker. On a very own path. Herder, Freiburg / Basel / Vienna 2014, ISBN 978-3-451-06748-8 .
  • Gunna Wendt: Clara and Paula: The life of Clara Rilke-Westhoff and Paula Modersohn-Becker. Piper, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-492-24642-2 .

Worpsweder environment

  • Ulrich Bischoff , Birgit Dalbajewa, Andreas Dehmer: Paula Modersohn-Becker and the Worpsweder in the Dresden gallery. Edited by Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Galerie Neue Meister. Sandstein-Verlag, Dresden 2012, ISBN 978-3-95498-012-3 .
  • Marina Bohlmann-Modersohn: Paula and Otto Modersohn. Rowohlt, Reinbek 2003, ISBN 3-499-23370-3 .
  • Doris Hansmann: Worpswede artists' colony. Prestel, Munich / London / New York 2011, ISBN 978-3-7913-4523-9 .
  • Jürgen Teumer: In Paula's footsteps. Paula Modersohn-Becker in Worpswede 1897–1907. Schünemann, Bremen 2007, ISBN 978-3-7961-1896-8 .
  • Helmut Stelljes : Worpswede, Worpswede, you are always on my mind. Photo series. Schünemann Verlag, Bremen 2007, ISBN 978-3-7961-1893-7 ( illustrated book , with texts by Paula Modersohn-Becker).

Scientific investigations

  • Christine Berberich: The Richard Wurm Company and the "Wurm'sche Tempera" - an annotated archival collection. Technical University of Munich, Chair for Restoration, Art Technology and Conservation Science , 2012 ( ).
  • Reinhild Feldhaus: The (re) production of the feminine. Evidence securing in the reception history of Paula Modersohn-Becker. critical reports 4/93, pp. 10-26 ( ).
  • Eva Reinkowski-Häfner: Tempera. On the history of a technical term. In: Journal of Art Technology and Conservation. 8, No. 2, 1994, pp. 297-317.
  • Eva Reinkowski-Häfner: The discovery of tempera painting in the 19th century. Research, application and further development of a historical painting technique (= writings of the Institute for Archeology, Historical Monuments and Art History. Volume 2). Michael Imhof Verlag, Petersberg 2014, ISBN 978-3-7319-0079-5 .
  • Yi-Tsun Huang: Paula Modersohn-Becker in the field of symbolism. Dissertation. University of Freiburg i. Br., 2011.
  • Samira Kleinschmidt: Iconographic examination of selected works by Paula Modersohn-Becker in relation to Paul Cézanne. Similarities and differences, analyzed with special consideration of art theoretical considerations. Grin-Verlag, Munich 2016, ISBN 978-3-668-24793-2 .
  • Renate Foitzik Kirchgraber: Life reform and artist groups around 1900. Dissertation. University of Basel, Zurich 2003 ( ).
  • Ute Lamberti: "To be human", a word-picture collage with pictures by Paula Modersohn-Becker. BoD, Norderstedt 2014, ISBN 978-3-7347-3461-8 .
  • Janina Kringe: Aesthetic experience in the Teufelsmoor? Artistic forms of life around 1900: The Worpsweder Kreis. Dissertation. University of Siegen, 2012 ( ).

Web links

Commons : Paula Modersohn-Becker  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Contemporary photographs

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Rainer Madsen: Expressionism (approx. 1905-1920). Part I, Kunstverein Iserlohn e. V., pp. 1–30 (PDF; 2.6 MB).
  2. The family had the following living children: Kurt (* 1873), Milly (Bianca Emilie) (1874–1949), Günther (1877–1928), Hans (1880–1882) and the twins Herma (1885–1963) and Henner ( 1885–1949), all born in Dresden-Friedrichstadt.
  3. Mathilde's grandfather ( Paula's maternal great-grandfather ) was the former captain Günther Karl Wilhelm von Bültzingslöwen (* 1755 in Haynrode , † 1822 in Lübeck), who had settled in Lübeck and worked here as a technical drawing teacher. Mathilde's father ( Paula's maternal grandfather ) was the German officer and geodesist Ferdinand von Bültzingslöwen , her grandmother Emilie Dorothea Sophie, née Lange (* October 10, 1815, † January 16, 1896) died in 1896.
  4. ^ Barbara Beuys: Paula Modersohn-Becker. Hanser 2007, p. 9 . Frommhold was archdeacon at the Annenkirche in Dresden , see Otto Frommhold in the Dresden City Wiki.
  5. ^ Paula Modersohn-Becker, Günter Busch, Liselotte von Reinken, Arthur S. Wensinger, Carole Clew Hoey: Paula Modersohn-Becker, the Letters and Journals. Northwestern University Press, Evanston, Illinois 1998, ISBN 0-8101-1644-8 , p. 438.
  6. ^ Archives of the Rohland family. In: Online archive catalog of the Basel-Stadt State Archives.
  7. Bianca Emilie Becker married Johannes Rohland, a businessman from Basel , in 1905 . In their 34-year marriage they had five children: Christiane (* 1907), called Jane, Peter (* 1908), Rudolf (1909–1944), Wulf (* 1911) and Hans (* 1914).
  8. a b Address book Dresden 1877 , SLUB, p. 22.
  9. Other information on the result is today's house number "48": Paula Modersohn-Becker, later known as a painter, spent her childhood in this house. .
  10. The building was demolished in the 1950s.
  11. ^ Address book Dresden 1875 , SLUB, p. 21.
  12. According to the Dresden 1876 address book , SLUB p. 22, they still lived at Schäferstrasse 59
  13. According to other data, the residential building had the address “Schäferstraße 42”, corner “Menageriestraße”: Marina Bohlmann-Modersohn: Paula Modersohn-Becker. A biography with letters. btb, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-442-73643-0 , p. 9. However, this seems to be refuted by the entry in the historical address book of Dresden.
  14. The house near the Annenkirche was torn down.
  15. Today is the "Friedrichstrasse 29", house number "46".
  16. Bernd Hünlich: Paula Modersohn-Becker and her birthplace: the painter was born in Dresden on February 8, 110 years ago. In: Dresdener Kunstblätter. 20, 2, 1986, pp. 8-15.
  17. Herma von Bültzingslöwen, the sister of Paula's mother Mathilde, married Günther Parizot; the two went to Java in 1873, like their two brothers Günther and Wulf von Bültzingslöwen.
  18. Liselotte von Reinken : Paula Modersohn-Becker with self-testimonies and photo documents. Rowohlt Taschenbuch, Reinbek 1983, ISBN 3-499-50317-4 .
  19. Historical address books. Entries from address book Bremen 1904
  20. The old guard road.
  21. The house was designed by the architect Heinrich Müller . The building served as the domicile and wine shop of the Ludwig von Kapff family ; it was near the Weser bridge and was destroyed in 1944.
  22. She was a half-sister of Carl Woldemar Becker and daughter of Paul Adam von Becker (1808-1881)
  23. ^ Charles John Hill (* July 24, 1822 in Halifax , Nova Scotia, Canada; † March 19, 1894 in Castle Malwood / Lyndhurst , Hampshire , England). He was married twice, his first marriage to Cornelia de Neufville, whom he married in Surabaya and with whom he had eight children. His second marriage was to Marie Luisa von Becker, whose marriage remained childless. The eldest daughter from his first marriage married Wulf von Bültzingslöwen. Arthur Wentworth Hamilton Eaton: Families of Eaton-Sutherland, Layton-Hill. New York 1899, p. 18.
  24. Ernst Weber: The way to the art of drawing: A booklet for theoretical and practical self-education. Volume 430 Nature and Spiritual World, Springer Fachmedien, Wiesbaden 1920, p. 86.
  25. Biographical data on Eliseo Abelardo Álvarez-Calderón y Flores-Chinarro (1847–1911)
  26. ^ Later Herma Weinberg
  27. ^ The house of Paula Becker,
  28. Stefanie Schröder: Paula Modersohn-Becker: On a very own path. (= Herder Spectrum. Volume 80528). Herder Verlag, Freiburg im Breisgau 2015, ISBN 978-3-451-80528-8 , p. 40 f.
  29. Pauline von Bültzingslöwen was first married to Franz Robert Constantin Wilke († 1873 in Dresden) and after his death then to Captain Wilhelm Rabe (1837-1901)
  30. The distance between “Potsdamer Straße 38” and “Perleberger Straße 23” is approx. 15 km one way.
  31. The distance between "Eisenacher Straße 61" and "Perleberger Straße 23" is about 10 km one way.
  32. Hermine (Herma) Parizot was born from Bültzingslöwen, the sister of Paula's mother Mathilde and married to Günther Parizot. Her two daughters were Emilie (Maidli) and Cora Parizot († 1886).
  33. Detlef Lorenz: Traces of Artists in Berlin from the Baroque to Today: Guide to places of residence, work and memorials of visual artists. Dietrich Reimer, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-496-01268-4 .
  34. Paula Modersohn-Becker's maternal grandfather was the German officer and geodesist Ferdinand von Bültzingslöwen , her grandmother Emilie Dorothea Sophie, née Lange (October 10, 1815 - January 16, 1896), had died in 1896. Two of the brothers, Günther (November 24, 1839 - August 21, 1889) and Wulf (May 12, 1847 - April 4, 1907), Paula's mother, were merchants and plantation owners in Java ( Dutch East Indies ). Paula's maternal uncle Wulf and his New Zealand wife Cornelia (Cora for short) von Bültzingslöwen, née Hill (* 1852), came to Dresden in 1880 with their six-year-old son Freddy. His family was wealthy. Her uncle later lived with Cora von Bültzingslöwen in Berlin-Schlachtensee . They lived in "No. 1–5a – c Matterhornstrasse. 29 ”(formerly“ Albrechtstr. 1–5 ”or“ Waldemarstr. 52 ”). The Bültzingslöwen'sche Haus was built around 1894 for the plantation owner Wulf von Bültzingslöwen.
  35. ^ The house of the von Bültzingslöwen in Berlin-Schlachtensee. (JPG) (No longer available online.) In: Archived from the original on January 10, 2018 ; accessed on March 28, 2019 .
  36. ^ Association of Berlin Women Artists 1867 e. V., Club Chronicle: Drawing & Painting School ( Memento from July 17, 2015 in the Internet Archive ). In:, accessed June 18, 2015.
  37. ^ International Art Exhibition Dresden 1897 in the city exhibition palace at the royal large garden. Digital copy of the SLUB . 1897, accessed December 31, 2016 .
  38. Short biography of Ottilie Reylaender ,
  39. ^ Günther Busch, Liselotte von Reinken, Paula Modersohn-Becker: Paula Modersohn-Becker in letters and diaries. Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2007, ISBN 978-3-10-050609-2 .
  40. ^ Diary, July 26, 1900.
  41. ^ Diary, September 3, 1900.
  42. The Barkenhoff Worpswede; .
  43. The result of the joint “punishment” of both artists in the Zionskirche.
  44. Otto Modersohn's diary - extract from the unedited manuscripts
  45. to Gustav Pauli, 1919.
  46. Quote: Otto Modersohn, diary from Sunday, November 5, 1905.
  47. ^ Paula Modersohn-Becker and Otto Modersohn - Die Amrumreise 1903. (PDF; 1.1 MB) (No longer available online.) In: Archived from the original on January 13, 2017 ; accessed on March 28, 2019 .
  48. Busch / Reinken / Werner, new edition 2007.
  49. ^ Dorothee Hansen: Elective Affinities - Paula Modersohn-Becker and Emile Bernard. (No longer available online.) In: March 2018, archived from the original on July 8, 2015 ; accessed on March 28, 2019 .
  50. ^ Contemporary photography of her former studio on the Avenue du Maine in Paris.
  51. see Busch / Reinken / Werner 2007.
  52. Quotation from Busch, p. 427.
  53. Quoted in Reinken, p. 109.
  54. Helmut Stelljes : Mathilde, the daughter of a famous Worpswede painter. What happened to the daughter Tille Modersohn after the early death of the painter Paula Modersohn-Becker? In: Heimat-Rundblick. History, Culture, Nature , No. 71, 4/2004 (Winter 2004), Druckerpresse-Verlag , ISSN  2191-4257 , pp. 4-5.
  55. Quoted in Murken-Altrogge, p. 72 f.
  56. A fundamental difference between the two paints is that oil paints are characterized by their thinnability in oil and the tempera paints, on the other hand, by their water thinnability. In the period between 1850 and 1914, both painting materials, i.e. the oil and tempera paints, were not uniform and clearly delimited (defined) material groups. Both oil-thinnable oil and water-thinnable tempera paints contained different groups of substances such as proteins, polysaccharides, drying oils and resins .
  57. Susanne Mayer: Look in the mirror. In: The time . No. 53, December 23, 2014, p. 49: “She is the first woman in art history to paint herself naked, one year before Suzanne Valadon in Paris. Never before had other than male artists looked at naked women's bodies. "
  58. Paula Modersohn-Becker was not yet pregnant on the day the painting was created, on Friday, May 25, 1906 in Paris
  59. ^ Paula Modersohn-Becker: Berlin - Worpswede - Paris. Notice on the exhibition from March 23 to July 6, 2014, accessed on July 25, 2014.
  60. ^ Susanne Mayer: Paula Modersohn-Becker. Look in the mirror. In: The time. January 8, 2015, accessed January 11, 2015.
  61. million for Menzel. Bremen auction house achieves record price ( Memento from December 13, 2013 in the Internet Archive ). In: Nordsee-Zeitung . July 2, 2007 (previously archived on the website of the auction house Bolland & Marotz, Bremen; PDF; 1.1 MB).
  62. ^ Paula Modersohn-Becker: L'intensité d'un regard. For the exhibition at the Musée d'art moderne de la Ville de Paris from April 8 to August 21, 2016 (French).
  63. Henning Bleyl: The artist child Mathilde Modersohn would have turned one hundred today. Unlike her parents, she became a social worker. November 2, 2007.
  64. ^ Memorial for Paula Modersohn-Becker In: k: art in public space bremen.
This version was added to the list of excellent articles on November 5, 2005 .