Heidi, 1949

Heidi, 1949
Watercolour on Ingres paper, 44,6 x 36 cm

Heidi sits up straight like a little queen in a wide chair in front of a neutral background. She has a thick cushion at her back and is surrounded by the insignia of her childish kingdom: the "Kasperle" puppets (similar to Punch and Judy). In her right hand, she holds the devil, and the princess – recognisable by her long golden hair – is hanging face-down over the arm of the chair. These two figures embody good and evil in the childish cosmos. For both, however, the portrait sitting is a moment of peace.

Heidi has made herself comfortable, tucking her legs up on the chair. Her gaze is a little dreamy and she is looking past the observer. Although a sitting takes a long time and is a challenge for a naturally active child, Heidi has maintained her upright posture. She is wearing a white blouse under a jumper in a striking red and blue pattern. The colourful jumper gives the whole composition an element of strength and vibrancy.