During her training at the Hochschule der bildenden Künste in Berlin, Baumgarte repeatedly drew on her own motifs from her private life and public environment in the city and her home district of Karlshorst. This striking watercolour is one of Ruth Baumgarte's portraits of her family.
It depicts Didi, the adopted son of her aunt Anna-Marie Schubert. Both were to live with her in Bielefeld from 1946. Photographs from the time show him with sparkling eyes and a mischievous smile. However, the focus in this portrait is not on the physical appearance of the seven-year-old boy. With layers of colour blending into each other, the aspiring artist reveals her subject's turbulent inner world of private emotions. Didi's melancholic expression embodies the dreams, fears and troubles of the younger and future generation.