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.