Mnter and Kandinsky stayed in the Bavarian town of Murnau in August 1908 and were joined by Alexej Jawlensky and Marianne Werefkin. Together the artists formulated a new style incorporating the bold colors of French Fauvism. Mnter wrote of this summer in Murnau, "I took a major leap there--from painting after nature, more or less impressionistically...to the presentation of an extract" (quoted in R. Heller, Gabriele Mnter, The Years of Expressionism, 1903-1920, Munich, 1997, p. 16).
The present painting of a girl with her doll not only reflects Mnter's engagement with Fauvism but also with folk art. Jawlensky introduced her to traditional Bavarian paintings on glass, in which dark contour lines are filled in with brilliant colors. The technique of Hinterglasmalerei had a profound effect on Mnter.
In a discussion about another Kinde mit Puppe executed around the same time, Heller observes:
"Without the aid of a preliminary drawing, she freely painted the contours of the girl seated on a chair onto the cardboard. The figure seems to be drawn with an extraordinary sense of certainty and precision, almost as if it were drawn with an extended brushstroke, without hesitation, alteration or correction. Applied in thin paint in totally flat but delicately nuanced tones, contrasting colors fill the forms identified by the black contours; all impasto effects are avoided, brushstrokes are accented and cardboard is visible through the pigment or is left bare in spots. Simplicity of composition and rendering, limited color usage in planar configurations and enhanced black contours are the characterizing features of the painting that recall the art of reverse-glass painting" (R. Heller, op. cit., p. 118).