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From 1909 to 1911 Kirchner and other members of the Brücke group spent part of each summer at the Moritzburg Lakes near Dresden. Their relaxed, communal lifestyle and nude bathing reflected a cult of nature that was growing in Germany at the time. The exaggerated colours in this painting, contrasting yellow-orange flesh with blue water, emphasise the nudity of the figures. The original effect, however, may have been too extreme, as Kirchner repainted parts of the picture in 1926, making the colours lighter and the surface of the painting more even.

July 2008