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Although this work was painted in Hamburg, it was probably inspired by the artist’s regular summer visits to Dangast on the North Sea coast. The dunes, grasslands and fishing villages of this area appear in a number of Schmidt-Rottluff’s paintings. The mask-like faces of the two women may reflect Schmidt-Rottluff’s familiarity with masks from Cameroon. The artists of the Brücke group drew inspiration from the African and South East Asian artefacts in the Dresden Ethnographic Museum, which they saw as embodying an unspoilt and more authentic culture.

July 2008