Paula Modersohn-Becker was a painter and early member of the Expressionist Movement in Germany. She is most well known for her nude portraits of women, of which she appears to have been one of the first women to take up the form.
She was reluctant to have children, concerned that doing so might delay the development of her art. At age 31, she died shortly after giving birth to her first child.
Becker once wrote, "I know that I shall not live very long. But I wonder, is that sad? Is a celebration more beautiful because it lasts longer? And my life is a celebration, a short, intense celebration. "
Her life was memorialized in the famous poem by the Austrian Poet Rainer Maria Rilke.