This schoolroom scene is set in the Black Forest of Germany. The area is Baden-Baden which was a resort town named after the hot springs there. (The word "baden" means bathe and people would bathe in the hot water.)
It is a spring morning and the sun is shining brightly. Light is an important element in this picture.
Learning to knit is just as important to these young girls as learning the "three R's"; reading, 'riting'(writing) and 'rithmetic'(arithmetic).
The unusual headgear is special to the residents of Baden. For generations women have included it in their costume.
Knitting was so important to them that it is said that the women of the area would even take their knitting to the concert hall, and the click of knitting needles could be heard throughout the movements of a Beethoven symphony.
A reader sent the following email:
"Dear Mrs. Stevens,
I've stumbled over your website quite by accident, because I was looking for paintings by Fritz Sonderland. On your page you have the "Knitting School" and with interest I've read your description. However, this little scenery isn't placed in Baden Baden. The children and the teacher are wearing the traditional dress of an area called the "Schwalm". If you're interested I can tell you more about the area, its traditions and the dresses."
This PDF gives more information about the picture.
Look at the enlarged version.
How does the clothing of the girls differ? How is it alike?
What animal do you see in the picture?
The Hammock The Sick Bed
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