No other artist of the late 19th and early 20th century took up the theme of mother and child as consistently as Paula Modersohn- Becker. In 1906, she began portraying them as nudes, thus developing a new form of expression and imbuing the traditional motif with convincing immediacy. Protectively, the mother has drawn up her legs to her child, cradling his head in her arms. The basic means of expression is the contour line, with which Modersohn-Becker reduced the naked body to a picture formula by forgoing details. Here, once again, she pursued her goal to “strive for the greatest simplicity in the most intimate observation.” This drawing is most likely the last of four that Modersohn-Becker produced in preparation for three painted versions of the subject. Two of these are thought to be lost; another is in the art collection at the Kunstsammlungen Böttcherstrasse in Bremen.


  • Title: Mother and Child Reclining
  • Creator: Paula Modersohn-Becker
  • Date Created: 1906
  • Physical Dimensions: 230.0 x 313.0 mm
  • Type: drawing
  • Rights: Kunsthalle Bremen - Der Kunstverein in Bremen. Kupferstichkabinett
  • Medium: Charcoal

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more

Flash this QR Code to get the app
Google apps