This alluring woman reclining teasingly on a sofa is Kirchner’s Dresden lover, Doris Grosse. As if the erotic gesture were meaningless, her hand rests erotically on her pudenda. The fresh, colourful palette and the loose brushwork enhance the sensuousness of this early depiction. The painting of the scene appears spontaneous but had been carefully prepared with an underdrawing. Kirchner did not rely on professional models, choosing instead to paint friends and lovers in his studio, which also served as a living room and study.
The important collection of Expressionist art owned by the chemist Carl Hagemann (1867-1940) was formed from the beginning of the twentieth century in close exchange with the artists - even during the period when they were being vilified by the National Socialists. After Hagemann's death in 1940, his collection was secretly evacuated together with the Städel's own collection to protect it from war damage. In gratitude for this hazardous but successful effort, Hagemann's heirs donated over 1000 prints and drawings to the Städel in 1948. Further generous donations were made over the course of several decades.