Born on July 8th, 1867, in Konigsberg, East Prussia. In 1890 she completed her first etchings. In 1898-1903she taught at the Berlin School of Women Artists. In 1914 her son Peter died in Flanders during WWI. Her grandson also died during WWII. She died in 1945on April 22nd in Moritzburg, shortly before the end of the war. Kollwitz based her art on the social conditions in Nazi Germany. Her art consisted of dark and oppressive subject matter, mostly based on death, poverty, war, and injustice. She was influenced by Max Klinger, the writer of Zola. Her personal life was made up of hardship and heartache. While teaching at the School for Women's Artists, she was expelled because of the content of her art, the Nazi party found her as a threat, and bombed her house in 1943, two years before she died.
She used two different techniques in her artwork. The first consisted of alternating copper plating and soft ground materials, which she used hard pencils to draw on top with. Her second technique, consisted of a mechanical grain, with rows of tiny parallel dots, and used soft grain procedures, stopping out and direct etching.