Paula Modersohn Becker had a short lived career. She died at the age of 31 from a post pardum embelism. A tragic event under any circumstances and I think a loss for the art world and women painters in particular. Becker is known in part for her nude self-portraits that had a more earthly, nurturing quality to them and a frankness that differed from the more eroticized portrayals of women in Renaissance Art. Without much information about her life I quickly identified the influence of Gaughin here. There's a lovely innocence and natural quality to her paintings that I also resonate with in Gaughin's portrayals of Tahitian women.
Becker studied at the Berlin School of Art for Women then moved to Worpswede an artists community co-founded by Otto Modersohn a landscape painter whom she later married. Becker left the art scene in Worpswede after a harsh review in an exhibition and decided to meet sculptor and friend Clara Westoff in Paris where she took up studies at the Academie Colarossi. Women painters had rarely used nude females as subjects at the time Becker began this part of her practice. Artemesia Gentileschi did three centuries before also using her own body as the reference like Becker.
Although Becker was trained in realism and naturalism she swayed from that training and became influenced by the work of Cezanne, Van Gogh and Gaughin while in Paris. She is recognized today as one the most famous female artists of the 20th Century and in her short career produced inspiring and masterful paintings worthy of recognition.