Dr Gerbert Frodl of the Österreichisches Galerie im Belvedere has confirmed the authenticity of this painting on the basis of a photograph.
Figure painting came to occupy an increasinging portion of Moser's output in the years following 1910. Showing the fruits of his studies of Goethe's Farbenlehre (Theory of Colour), often his figures would be strikingly outlined with vibrant colour - in the case of the present work, a bright blue - in order to heighten drama and decorative impact. A comparable effect, albeit it in generally cooler hues of green and blue, is achieved in Drei kauernde Frauen (Vienna, Museum moderner Kunst, Stiftung Ludwig). Writing excitedly in 1912 of the developments of his own colour theories, Moser commented 'Every colour in the picture has to consist of the three basic colours of yellow, red and blue...if two coloured surfaces come up against each other, the borders change as if they had the complementary colours of the other mixed in' (quoted in M. Reinnhofer, Koloman Moser, Master of Viennese Modernism, London, 2002, p. 203).
The frieze-like procession of form in the present work, with its obvious reference to the antique and timeless, emphasises a sense of structural rigour. However, the richness of the palette and softening at the edges of the forms is also suggestive of a freedom in tune with the modish theories of the 'Eurythmic' choreographer Émile Jacques-Delcroze. An avant-garde comrade of Moser's friend Hodler in Geneva, Jacques-Delcroze wrote in 1912, 'Gesture itself is nothing - its whole value depends on the emotion that inspires it.' Hodler's Heilige Stunde I of 1907 (Zurich, Kunsthaus), for instance, displays a combination of formal discipline and expressive nuance similar to the present work.