Paula Modersohn-Becker

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Paula Modersohn-Becker

Paula Modersohn-Becker (February 8, 1876 - November 21, 1907) was a German painter, was one of the most important representatives of early Expressionism.


  • How happy I would be if I could give figurative expression to the unconscious feeling that often murmurs so softly and sweetly within me.
    • Paula Modersohn-Becker (1898) in her diary, quoted in: Werner Haftmann (1966) An analysis of the artists and their work, p. 82
  • We cleave to the past too much in Germany. All of our German art is too bogged down in the conventional... I think more highly of a free person who consciously puts convention aside.
    • As quoted in: Norbert Wolf, ‎Uta Grosenick (2004) Expressionism, p. 74
  • I want the to give colors intoxication, fullness, excitement, power By trying to forget Impressionism, I wanted to conquer it. In the process I was conquered. We must work with assimilated, digested Impressionism.
    • As quoted in: Ingo F. Walther (2000) Art of the 20th Century. Part 1, p. 49

Paula Modersohn-Becker, the Letters and Journals. (1998)[edit]

Paula Modersohn-Becker, ‎Günter Busch, ‎Liselotte von Reinken (1998) Paula Modersohn-Becker, the Letters and Journals.

  • Worpswede, Worpswede, I cannot get you out of my mind... Your magnificent pine trees! I call them my men--thick, gnarled, powerful, and tall--yet with the most delicate nerves and fibers in them.
    • p. 80
  • I sketched a young mother with her child at her breast, sitting in a smoky hut. If only l could someday paint what I felt then! A sweet woman, an image of charity. She was nursing her big, year-old bambino, when with defiant eyes her four—year—old daughter snatched for her breast until she was given it. And the woman gave her life and her youth and her power to the child in utter simplicity, unaware that she was a heroine.
    • p. 112; Quoted in: Witzling (1991, p. 193) and Delia Gaze (2001) Concise Dictionary of Women Artists, p. 489
  • Nature is supposed to become greater to me than people. It ought to speak louder from me. I should feel small in the face of nature's enormity.
    • p. 121
  • The time is getting closer for you to be coming. Now I must ask you for your sake and mine, please spare both of us this time of trial. Let me go, Otto. I do not want you as my husband... accept this fact; don't torture yourself any longer.
    • p. 206: Paris, September 3, 1906; As quoted in Stephanie D'Alessandro, ‎Milwaukee Art Museum (2003) German Expressionist Prints, p. 198
  • Someday I must be able to paint truly remarkable colors. Yesterday 1 held in my lap a wide, silver-gray satin ribbon which 1 edged with two narrower black, patterned silk ribbons. And I placed on top of these a plump, bottle-green velvet bow. I'd like to be able to paint something one day in those colors.
    • p. 278 : Journal June 3, 1902

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