Being Here: The Life of Paula Modersohn-Becker

Marie Darrieussecq

Being Here: The Life of Paula Modersohn-Becker
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Being Here: The Life of Paula Modersohn-Becker

Marie Darrieussecq

Born in Germany in 1876, Paula Modersohn-Becker was the first female artist to paint herself not only naked but pregnant. Being Here is a moving account of the life of this ground-breaking Expressionist painter, by the acclaimed French writer Marie Darrieussecq.

Darrieussecq thrillingly describes Paula’s discovery of her style and choice of subjects - women, babies, domestic life. As her art evolves, Paula is torn between Paris and her home in northern Germany. In Paris she can focus on her work, and mix with artists like Rodin and Monet, or her close friend the poet Rainer Maria Rilke. But Germany is home, and that’s where her painter husband Otto lives. She tells the story of her fraught marriage, her ambivalence about combining her passion for her career as an artist with motherhood. And she recounts her tragic death at thirty-one, days after giving birth.

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