Paula Modersohn-Becker was fascinated by the simple life in rural Worpswede and also by the (mostly older) women in the almshouse there.
This painting is among the artist’s last works and reveals her stylistic proximity to van Gogh or Gauguin. The monumental figure of “Mother Schröder”, the woman from the almshouse, towers up in front of the brilliant colours of the poppy flowers and a bulbous glass ball – a typical ornament in Worpswede farmers’ gardens. The bright evening light in the background defines the atmosphere and makes her face appear to be in shadow.
The woman’s powerful and stocky figure, coarse face and absent-minded gaze invest the image with a certain heaviness. The artist captures her sitter’s nature and her striking physiognomy with just a few brushstrokes.