Paula Modersohn-Becker

Paula
Modersohn-Becker

Paula Modersohn-Becker (*February 8, 1876 in Dresden-Friedrichstadt; †November 20, 1907 in Worpswede) was a German painter. She is considered one of the most important representatives of early German Expressionism.


Paula Becker was born Minna Hermine Paula Becker in Dresden in 1876. In 1892, following her parents’ wishes, Becker traveled to her aunt in England, where she received her first drawing lessons. She attended a course at the drawing and painting school of the Verein der Künstlerinnen und Kunstfreundinnen in Berlin in 1896. Women were not yet allowed to study at the Kunstakademie at that time.

She then spent one-and-a-half years learning to paint in Berlin. Most of this time was spent taking drawing classes, until Becker switched to the painting class led by the artist Jeanna Bauck in 1897.

Paula Modersohn-Becker (*February 8, 1876 in Dresden-Friedrichstadt; †November 20, 1907 in Worpswede) was a German painter. She is considered one of the most important representatives of early German Expressionism.


Paula Becker was born Minna Hermine Paula Becker in Dresden in 1876. In 1892, following her parents’ wishes, Becker traveled to her aunt in England, where she received her first drawing lessons. She attended a course at the drawing and painting school of the Verein der Künstlerinnen und Kunstfreundinnen in Berlin in 1896. Women were not yet allowed to study at the Kunstakademie at that time.

She then spent one-and-a-half years learning to paint in Berlin. Most of this time was spent taking drawing classes, until Becker switched to the painting class led by the artist Jeanna Bauck in 1897.

Paula Becker in Worpswede and
Her Marriage to Otto Modersohn

After this formal tuition, Paula Becker moved to Worpswede, where she met Fritz Mackensen, who taught her from that point on. She also met Otto Modersohn, her future husband. In 1899, a small artists’ colony was founded in Worpswede that included Fritz Overbeck, Heinrich Vogeler and Clara Westhoff.

Paula Becker traveled to Paris for the first time in 1900. The works of the painter Vincent van Gogh made a lasting impression on her. The painter married the artist Otto Modersohn in 1901. The artist’s second stay in Paris followed in the spring of 1903. Figuration was now gaining more and more traction in her paintings. Upon her return she largely withdrew and critically examined what she had created thus far.

Her art was free of whitewashed views of rural life. Through a reduction and simplification of her formal language, she achieved a more expressive representation. From time to time, she would shift her attention entirely to outdoor motifs, reducing landscapes to their essential features.

Paula Modersohn-Becker and Paris

Inspired by the Parisian avant-garde, the artist traveled to Paris for a third time in 1905, where she took a nude painting course at the Académie Julien. The expressive works of Paul Gauguin at the Herbstsalon (Autumn Salon) encouraged Modersohn-Becker in her own creative work. Her time in Paris also inspired her to devote herself more to still lifes. Together with her husband, who came to visit her in Paris, the artist finally traveled to Hagen to meet the Osthauses and visit the Folkwang Museum.

In 1906 she left Worpswede to travel to Paris once again. The trip was partially funded by the proceeds of the sale of one of her works to the poet Rainer Maria Rilke. Although Otto Modersohn was against this trip, he continued to support her financially. In order to further her education, Paula Modersohn-Becker began to attend various courses at the École des Beaux-Arts. During this time, she created many nudes and self-portraits. After her husband came to Paris for a longer visit, the couple returned to Worpswede in 1907. In that year her long-awaited wish came true and she became pregnant. Shortly after the birth of her daughter, Paula Modersohn-Becker died of a pulmonary embolism on November 20, 1907.

Having struggled all her life for recognition and appreciation, the artist went her own way thoroughly unperturbed. Starting from the rural idyll of her home, she moved from scenes of rustic country life to an expressive, hard-edged colorfulness in her chosen motifs of still lifes and self-portraits. She eventually gained recognition posthumously as a pioneer of German Expressionism.

1876 — Paula Becker is born in Dresden.
1892 — Stays with her aunt in England. Has her first drawing lesson there.
1896 — Attends a course at the Zeichen- und Malschule des Vereins der Künstlerinnen und Kunstfreundinnen (Drawing and Painting School of the Association of Artists and Art Lovers) in Berlin.
1898— Moves to Worpswede. Becomes friends with Clara Westhoff, the future wife of Rainer Maria Rilke.
1900 — First trip to Paris. In September Paula Becker and Otto Modersohn get engaged.
1901 — Marries Otto Modersohn.
1902 — Figuration gains more and more importance in her images. Intensive engagement with her painting as well as reflections on color and image composition.
1903 — Second trip to Paris.
1904 — She retreats extensively from her fellow Worpswede artists and critically examines what she has created thus far.
1905 — Third trip to Paris. She takes a nude figure painting course at the Académie Julien. She travels with her husband and Heinrich Vogeler to Hagen to meet the Osthauses and visit the Folkwang Museum.
1906 — Longer stay in Paris.
1907 — Daughter Matilde born on November 2. Paula Modersohn-Becker dies of an embolism on November 20.

 

1876 — Paula Becker is born in Dresden.
1892 — Stays with her aunt in England. Has her first drawing lesson there.
1896 — Attends a course at the Zeichen- und Malschule des Vereins der Künstlerinnen und Kunstfreundinnen (Drawing and Painting School of the Association of Artists and Art Lovers) in Berlin.
1898— Moves to Worpswede. Becomes friends with Clara Westhoff, the future wife of Rainer Maria Rilke.
1900 — First trip to Paris. In September Paula Becker and Otto Modersohn get engaged.
1901 — Marries Otto Modersohn.
1902 — Figuration gains more and more importance in her images. Intensive engagement with her painting as well as reflections on color and image composition.
1903 — Second trip to Paris.
1904 — She retreats extensively from her fellow Worpswede artists and critically examines what she has created thus far.
1905 — Third trip to Paris. She takes a nude figure painting course at the Académie Julien. She travels with her husband and Heinrich Vogeler to Hagen to meet the Osthauses and visit the Folkwang Museum.
1906 — Longer stay in Paris.
1907 — Daughter Matilde born on November 2. Paula Modersohn-Becker dies of an embolism on November 20.

 

© Copyright Galerie Utermann 2020

© Copyright Galerie Utermann 2020

© Copyright Galerie Utermann 2020

Galerie Utermann, Silberstraße 22, 44137 Dortmund

Galerie Utermann, Silberstraße 22, 44137 Dortmund

Galerie Utermann, Silberstraße 22, 44137 Dortmund