With an Introduction by JILL LLOYD
Translated by ULRICH BAER from the
collection edited by RAINER STAMM

The Modersohn-Becker/
Rilke Correspondence


French paperback w/ flaps
Extent:  156 pages
ISBN: 9781916809901
Price: £17


The painter Paula Modersohn-Becker and the poet Rainer Maria Rilke first met at the Worpswede artists’ colony in 1900—a focal point of the kind of artistic innovations that were set to transform twentieth-century European culture. Modersohn-Becker and Rilke went on to enjoy an intense friendship over a period that saw both of them having to confront personal and financial challenges as they pursued their artistic vocations. This friendship was cut short by Modersohn-Becker’s tragically early death in 1907, but it left in its wake a remarkable series of letters.

As fascinating and evocative when discussing the nature of married life and the difficulty of furnishing one’s home as they are when exploring the expressive possibilities of art and poetry, the letters exchanged by Modersohn-Becker and Rilke are a testament to both writers’ exceptional descriptive gifts and penetrating social intelligence.

Brought together here in English for the first time and introduced by an illuminating essay by the art historian Jill Lloyd, The Modersohn-Becker/Rilke Correspondence provides a fascinating view of everyday life during an exceptionally fertile and exciting period of cultural production.


PAULA MODERSOHN-BECKER (1876–1907) was a German painter associated with the Expressionist movement. She was one of the most significant artists of her age. Her posthumously published letters and diaries have also led to her becoming widely admired as a writer.

RAINER MARIA RILKE (1875–1926) was one of the greatest poets of the twentieth century and remains one of the most influential writers in the German language. He is best known for his Sonnets to Orpheus and for the prose work Letters to a Young Poet.

JILL LLOYD is a writer and curator specialising in modern European art. She has organised many critically ­acclaimed exhibitions for leading museums and has published widely, including her book German Expressionism: Primitivism and Modernity, which was awarded the UK National Art Book Prize.

RAINER STAMM is a literary scholar, art historian, and writer. He has served as director of both the Paula ­Modersohn-Becker Museum in Bremen and the Landesmuseum Kunst & Kultur Oldenburg, and he is an honorary Professor of Art History at the University of Bremen. He is the author of, among other works, a biography of Paula ­Modersohn-Becker, Ein kurzes intensives Fest.

ULRICH BAER is University Professor at New York University, where he teaches literature and photography. He is the author of several books, and among the volumes he has edited and translated is The Dark Interval: Rilke’s Letters on Loss, Grief, and Transformation.