Your brother was a creative artist too? So, a family of artists through and through?
Yes and no. My father was the son of a farmer and became a secondary-school teacher. My mother trained as a piano teacher, but she could never pursue a career—at the time you would have had to be independent.
How many siblings did you have?
I hesitate when it comes to this question. There were four of us, but really only three... My parents’ first child died at the age of two. It was quite a long time after that until my sister was born. Then my brother followed and, later, me. I was always certain that I wouldn’t have been brought into the world if my brother hadn’t died. This is why I had four children myself.
I can’t really explain it, it’s completely absurd. But it was part of me. My parents always missed this first child. We also missed our sibling. I often went up to his grave at the cemetery with a pram. My brother and his death have always been in my thoughts.
You gave birth to the first of your four children in 1954. It completely changed your life. How did you get into this unforeseen role?
My mother once said that having a child doubles your housework. I almost fainted. My mother-in-law once gave me a basket full of patches to mend socks, and I thought, ‘For God’s sake, this too?’ I already had some big commissions at that point, which were keeping me very busy. That was all over once the child arrived. All at once.