The German artist Paula Modersohn-Becker (1876-1907), like many other women of her time, did not receive the recognition or success her work deserved during her lifetime. Modersohn-Becker was a known member of the artists' colony and community of Worpswede where she met Otto Modersohn, her husband and also the esteemed 20th-century poet Rainer Maria Rilke. She is known more for her early death at the age of 31 and for her connection to Rilke than for being an innovative, groundbreaking Expressionist painter. Her life was cut tragically short when she died a few days after giving birth to her daughter. Only recently has Modersohn-Becker’s bold and unconventional work has come to be considered some of the best artwork early German Expressionism has to offer. Her revolutionary artwork was known to have influenced artists such as Dante Rosetti and Pablo Picasso. As the first female artist to complete a nude self-portrait while with child, her work is uncompromisingly personal and political. Modersohn-Becker’s work was denounced as “degenerate art” by Nazi Germany and banned in public spaces during the Third Reich. The popularity and publication of Modersohn-Becker’s letter correspondence with Rilke has helped her artwork and legacy escaped the doom of obscurity. The two corresponded for over six years, and it is speculated and widely accepted that Rilke not only was one of the few people who recognized Modersohn-Becker's great artistic talent but also that he harbored romantic feelings for Modersohn-Becker up until her death. Rilke's marriage to Modersohn-Becker’s closest friend, Clara Westhoff, is often characterized as a “rebound” and a way to stay close to the artist. Upon Becker’s death, Rilke wrote a seven-and-a-half page poem entitled “Requiem für eine Freundin” (Requiem for a Friend), lamenting her demise and enacting a type of “Totengespräch” or speaking with the dead as a means of reaching out to her across the divide between life and death. It is through the lens of Rilke’s requiem that my study of Paula Modersohn-Becker examines and illuminates key aspects of her life and her unique approach to her art in order to ascertain and assemble a full portrait of the force of nature that made up her personality and life’s work.