Only after her early death Paula Modersohn-Becker was recognised as a pioneer of modernism who artistically anticipated much of what others were just beginning to do. The painter repeatedly tried out new ways of making colour, shape and surface independent and thus enhancing the expression of her pictures.
At the turn of the century, she created numerous portraits as well as studies of moorland and birch landscapes. These were either Impressionist or Expressionist in style and showed her preference for a strictly reduced composition and her renunciation of depth illusionism. Ultimately, she was always concerned with revealing the secret poetry of things behind their outward appearance. She summarised this artistic goal with the phrase "The thing itself in the mood".
To mark the 100th anniversary of the death of the great German painter, major exhibitions were held at the Lower Saxony State Museum in Hanover, the Kunsthalle Bremen and the Böttcherstraße Art Collections in Bremen.