In 1911 Ernst Ludwig Kirchner left Dresden to join other members of the Brücke group in Berlin. The pace, modernity and wealth of the capital had a profound effect on all members of the group, and none more so than Kirchner. Whilst the modern metropolis had an exciting and exhilarating veneer, Kirchner viewed it as essentially hectic and unnatural, and those dwelling within it as helpless and alienated. He was fascinated with 'cocottes', the smart, elegant courtesans who paraded the avenues in the latest high fashions. The present work focuses on just such a figure, standing alone at the centre of the image, isolated against a densely-worked background. The strong left/right diagonal emphasises the forward motion of the participants and also links her with the man to the left, who coolly appraises the scene before him. In a city of frenzied commercial activity the relationship between the two protagonists is strongly hinted at. The diagonal concludes with a second woman entering the composition from the right. Kirchner is careful not to disturb the isolation of the central figure and separates the two women with dramatic vertical lines. The staccato-like style owes something to the Italian Futurists who exhibited at the first German spring salon in 1913, but the speed and fluid energy of the handling is typical of Kirchner at the height of his powers.