Girl with a Baby Among Birch Trees, 1905
Oil on cardboard
Like Mary Cassatt, Paula Modersohn-Becker devoted her art to depictions of women, yet she drew her subjects not from the leisure class but from the rustic common folk of the German countryside. The work's roughly brushed forms contoured in black typify the self-consciously simple style Modersohn-Becker devised for herself.
Though hailed today as an early pioneer of European modernism, Modersohn-Becker enjoyed no such recognition during her brief life. She died in 1907, soon after giving birth to her first child. She was 31 years old and had sold only a handful of paintings