Studio Corner (At Night), 1945
In pure red, blue, yellow and green, Ruth Baumgarte's Atelierecke is her first expressive watercolour. At first glance, it appears to be a cosy middle-class scene with a chair, shelf, vase and window. However, the still life with a jug of leafy branches and the edge of an easel extending into the right of the picture reveal that the room serves another purpose, namely teaching art.
Ruth Baumgarte worked as an art teacher at Ulrich-von-Hutten-Gymnasium secondary school in Berlin-Lichtenrade after graduating from art school and taking her first professional commissions. From July 1945 on, classes were held in the headmaster's house opposite the actual school building, which had been destroyed. There is nothing in the image to suggest a cold autumnal evening in October with the exception of a few dark shadows in the window and a flex. Baumgarte uses the wet-on-wet technique to infuse the colours with such energy that they lend their own light to the room and suggest an early change in the season