Nolde's interest in the art of primitive peoples is evident in this painting. The shape of the head and facial features resemble a tribal wooden carving. The artist was a frequent visitor to the Ethnographic Museum in Berlin, and also made a trip to New Guinea where he spent a year. It was originally thought that this picture was painted during his trip. However it is more likely that it was done before his departure, in preparation for the type of painting he expected to make on the trip.