Europe (Germany) in the early 20th century

European artists working in the early 20th century drew inspiration from later 19th-century experiments with content, form, and color to create dynamic commentaries on the unique (and often
‘disruptive’) circumstances in which they lived. In consideration of the given image, please compose an interpretation* that includes the following points:

  • This painting reflects ‘expressionistic’ intentions (communicating emotions over objective reality). How does the image manifest a sense of ‘depression’ or ‘anxiety?’ Consider the mood(s) displayed by the characters, but also the artist’s distinctive style (treatment of form and space).
  • This painting was created in Germany in 1920. How do you interpret this subject matter in relation to its specific context? What does the artist communicate here about the ‘state of family and society’ in Europe during the modern era?

Sample Solution