Clara Westhoff

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Clara Westhoff, portrait by Paula Modersohn-Becker, 1905

Clara Westhoff (21 September 1878 in Bremen – 9 March 1954 in Fischerhude) was a sculptor and the wife of poet Rainer Maria Rilke.

At the early age of 17 Clara Westhoff went to Munich where she attended a private art school. In 1898 she moved to Worpswede and learned sculpture with Fritz Mackensen. She continued her studies in 1899 with Carl Seffner and Max Klinger in Leipzig and in 1900 with Auguste Rodin in Paris, also attending the Académie Colarossi.

A year later she married the poet Rainer Maria Rilke in Worpswede. Eighteen years later, in 1919, she moved to Fischerhude with her daughter, Ruth Rilke.