By inversing the vertical orientation of his paintings, Georg Baselitz subverts them of their contexts as images. The viewer is forced to reappraise the work in a new and unfamiliar context. In the present work, the subject matter is reminiscent of Dutch genre painting, the subject matter of a woman on a staircase with a doorway. The inversion of the canvas and the loud, expressionistic style in which Die Frau in der Tür is painted, the traditional image's conventional meaning is overwhelmed by the physical properties and vibrant colour of the paint. Baselitz has asserted: "The content is in the motif. I use the motif with the content as an existing picture, part of the history of art. I don't fiddle around interpreting content: I simply take the images as I find them in art history" (Baselitz, quoted in Georg Baselitz, Cologne, 1990, p. 29).
Baselitz's intention of bringing attention to the painting as an object and to painting as an activity is reinforced by his stylistic vigor; the paint has been thickly applied in parts, so that the brushstrokes themselves become visible. The colours lend the picture great energy that is at odds with its apparently tranquil subject matter, and the thickness and spontaneity with which they have been applied is evidence of the energy with which Baselitz actually painted the picture. The manner and content of this painting relate it very closely to a series of eighteen pictures executed between 1979 and 1980 entitled Das Strassenbild, Das Fenster, Eine Frau lehnt sich an das Fenster, Malerische Legende ('The Picture of the Street, The Window, A Woman Goes To The Window, Painterly Legend'), which are now in the Kunstmuseum, Bonn. Each of these portrays a woman in a domestic setting, be it near a window or in a doorway. For his model Baselitz has almost always used his wife Elke, therefore making these paintings with their domestic setting and subject matter highly personal, private expressions, yet the turning of the canvas removes the autobiographical nature of the work. In this way, Baselitz reveals that he is intent on sacrificing even a depiction of his home-life to the primary objective of focussing attention on the painting, not its content. "The reality," Baselitz asserted in 1979, "is the picture, it is most certainly not in the picture."