Käthe Kollwitz is undoubtedly one of the most important women of the modern age. Her art developed completely autonomously and shows all signs of genius. Her language ist understood worldwide, whereas such prominent masters as Thoma and Menzel find lasting acclaim only in Germany, or, at most, in German speaking areas. With the exception of a few works commissioned for a specific purpose, Käthe Kollwitz' art is timeless; as Nolde would say, it is "everlasting". Even Paula Modersohn-Becker's art which is so important for early Expressionism, does not carry the same significance nor does it have the same international profile as that of Käthe Kollwitz.
The broad spectrum of her artistic work embraces both crucial aspects of life suffering per se, poverty and death, hunger and war - as well as the truly happy and positive sides of life. In this respect she differs from Ernst Barlach, for example.