About this artwork

It is unclear as to whether this photograph is an actual portrait or an image staged to illustrate a romantic short story in a newspaper or magazine. Either way, Kretschmer creates a powerful vision of the modern woman, with her fashionable clothing, stylish haircut and assertive gaze. We might read the portrait as a trace of the contradictions of Weimar culture itself, seen in the modernist furniture and the primitivist motif – with its imperialist resonances – on the tapestry behind. The cramped picture space creates an atmosphere of both challenge and ambivalence. As Kretschmer seems to suggest, this is what it means to be modern.

Annelise Kretschmer

Annelise Kretschmer