This image is from a series of seven woodcuts called "War". Rather than a depiction of the violence of combat, this series focuses upon the horrors of war as parents and families experience it at home. By choosing the stark black and white style of the woodcut, Kollwitz created universally understood images. The women in The Mothers act as a unified force in protecting their children. Kollwitz made clear her intentions for the series, "I have repeatedly attempted to give form to the war. I could never grasp it. Now finally I have finished a series of woodcuts, which in some measure say what I wanted to say...These sheets should travel throughout the entire world and should tell all human beings comprehensively: that is how it was - we have all endured that throughout these unspeakably difficult years."
This object was included in the following exhibitions: