Salmon pink, blood-orange red, rosé? The dominant colour in this picture is hard to define. It is somewhat darker in the background but lighter when it comes to the colour used to paint the skin. Either way, it develops a dynamic relationship to the red hair and purple skirt of the young mother breastfeeding her baby. Reinhold Ewald's treatment of the various styles of the 1910s and 1920s is experimental. Here, he combines elements of his idiosyncratic Expressionism with New Objectivity, which was just emerging at the time. The objects are depicted summarily and in the bold colours characteristic of Ewald's work. The composition is based on what the artist saw, but is not slavishly tied to it: the chair, for example, is located in the illusionistic space by the shadow it casts, but the overall perspective is broken several times. The picture was defamed by the National Socialists as "degenerate". In order to save it, it was hidden and replaced in the inventory of the Städel Museum by a landscape painting by the same artist.
The money that had been collected in private circles had actually been intended to purchase a bust of the emperor to be placed in front of the courthouse. “Political developments have thwarted this plan” is what Ludwig Wertheimer, initiator of the project and member of the Emperor’s Counsel, told the city of Frankfurt in November 1919. Given that there was no longer an emperor, interest was redirected towards Expressionist painting. This is how donated funds were employed to acquire two paintings: by Reinhold Ewald and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner.
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