Eight of Kokschka's paintings were included in the exhibition of Degenerate 'Art' organised by the Nazis to pour scorn on modern art. The artist altered the position of his arms in this painting, to make them defiantly crossed, in response his inclusion in the exhibition. The background shows the woods behind the house belonging to his future wife's grandparents, where he had begun the painting. A deer can be seen on the right and a running figure on the left. It has been suggested that both of these elements refer to flight or pursuit and to the artist as a hunted man.