"She hates the conventional and now she is making the mistake of preferring to make everything angular, ugly, strange and wooden. The colour is fantastic, but the form?" - wrote Otto Modersohn in 1903 on the works of his wife. Paula Modersohn-Becker had just returned from Paris when she created this painting. Full of new impressions, she created a work packed with tension between spatiality and surface. The only three-dimensional element is the tree, which stands out against the landscape. The man lying beneath it seems to fuse with his surroundings. It is not surprising that Modersohn-Becker's colleagues in Worpswede reacted with incomprehension.
The Frankfurt editor and executive director of Societäts Publishing House, Werner Wirthle (1908-2001), was a member of the Städel administration for twenty years. He began his art collection back in the 1920s and was particularly interested in modern sculpture. His collection of paintings reflects his close friendship with the painter Max Ackermann. Wirthle donated single works during his lifetime and bequeathed his entire collection and his heritable assets to the Städel.
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