On November 20, 1907, 31 year-old Paula Modersohn-Becker, who has just given birth to a daughter, dies in Worpswede near Bremen. In less than ten years, she has created a huge body of work, in the tradition of Gauguin and van Gogh, but also comparable, in many aspects, to the early Picasso.
Barbara Beuys tells of a childhood in Dresden, of studies in Berlin on the threshold of Modernism, of the artists' community of Worpswede. She writes in detail of life in 19th century Paris, the painter's adopted artistic home, where she became the first woman to paint a life-size nude self-portrait. Beuys interprets the variety and provocation of her paintings in opposition to the art critics of the day and quotes from documents revealing the drama in a marriage from which Modersohn-Becker vainly tried to escape.