"The picture was created after an amusing evening. The celebration at the Secession was called 'A Southern Night'. I had dressed up as a Spanish woman." According to Charlotte Berend-Corinth, this was how the almost life-size portrait came about. It is the last of the eighty or so likenesses which Lovis Corinth painted of his wife. Corinth is often regarded as a representative of German Impressionism, alongside Liebermann and Slevogt. Here, the artist is concerned less with the precise reproduction of physiognomical details than with capturing a specific moment after the ecstatic celebration.
The core of the museum's collection of modernist works was lost entirely in 1937 as a result of the campaign pursued by the National Socialists to confiscate what they deemed "degenerate art". The first decades after the Second World War were therefore devoted to rebuilding the department. Given the conditions in the post-war years, the city of Frankfurt was in no position to make funds for the purchase of art available in any significant way, and so the revived Museums-Verein focused intensively on this area of collection. The museum's post-war phase of recovery began in 1957, and in 1958 it was able to purchase Corinth's portrait of his wife, Charlotte, dressed as Carmen from the 66,000 marks received in donations. A year before his death, the artist summoned his remaining strength and energy to commit to canvas this monumental portrait of his wife, who was twenty-three years his junior. This important late work marked Corinth's return to the gallery, where, until the seizure of his works in 1937, he had been represented with three paintings.