This work constitutes a small study for Das schräge U, the larger oil on glass picture sold at Christie's on 24 March 2021 for 187,500 GBP. The application of colour and the pencilled outline of the composition are a clear indication of the artist’s hand, a telling example of his ingenious and creative balancing of tone and structure. The verso of the sheet shows a first study of a stage design for a 1928 theatre production of Berthold Brecht's comedy ‘Mann ist Mann’ at the Volkshochschule in Jena.
It is precisely when this work was executed, in the late 1920s, that the artist was documented to have designed stage sets for several plays by Brecht. The words in this section of the sheet (namely, ‘Festung’, ‘Kantine’, and ‘Temp.Innen’) are all key terms referred to specific stage designs for the play. While the final stage designs significantly differed from the one depicted here, both the front and the verso of the sheet remain a testament to the versatility of the artist’s talent.