Sunday Impression, 1910 by Wassily Kandinsky

The Sunday promenode was a popular motif for a number of artists, particularly from the final years of the nineteenth century. The works, such as Georqes Seurat's Sunday Afternoon on the Island of la Grande Jatte. were often critical commentaries on the bourgeoisie and their sensibilities. At the turn of the century a number of so-called Expressionist artists used this motif in a more sinister style that demonstrated man's alienation within an urban environment. The exponents of this style in Germany were Die Brucke group of artists in Dresden, and in particular one of its proponents Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938).

In Kirchner's hands the seemingly harmless pleasure of promenading is turned into an expression of anxiety. As he wrote, 'The more I mixed with people, the more I felt my loneliness,' Kirchner examined these feelings by exploring the expressive qualities of colour and form, the development of which was paralleled by Kandinsky's own period of Expressionism. Kandinsky is, however, more in tune with ideas of Paul Klee that 'making things visible' rather than seeking to reproduce that which is visible, since Klee's ideas were more likely to communicate the human condition to the viewer,