Corinth painted this portrait of his friend’s family shortly after his return to Berlin. There is no narrative linking the figures, who should be seen as separate individuals. They are held together by the picture’s colour composition and the play of light, which ultimately creates an unrealistic effect. Thus the shadowy profiles against the light on the left are contradicted by the brightly-lit mass of colour of the two younger children. These figures release a burst of colour that runs through the entire spectrum of reds and comes to rest in the orange-red of the blouse worn by the mother, which also halts the forward movement of the figures entering the scene from the left. The white of the large window with its rectangular panes is echoed in the shirt of a seated boy who is balanced by the puzzling, shadowy figure of a boy with a parrot in the lower right-hand corner. The brushwork, which no longer has anything to do with the actual depiction of objects, and the contrasts of light and shade that are here dissolved in colour, unite the figures in an on-going process that transcends any contingent spatial configurations and becomes a metaphor for the inner workings of the mind.