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Lady at the Window

Elmar Kits Lady at the Window 1943 oil, plywood 102 × 72.9 cm

In addition to this picture, the violin player Ester Turgan has been portrayed by Elmar Kits at least on one occasion. In the other painting she has been depicted against the backdrop of the cityscape of Tartu, but in Lady at the Window Kits has painted her indoors. Experiments characteristic of Kits’s oeuvre during World War II are visible here, too: he has painted against the light. The light streaming in through the window creates a light-coloured backdrop for the model, and helps to outline and highlight the colour landscapes of the room itself, creating an interesting contrast between the space behind the model’s back and the interior that is in front of her. Such a contrast is optically impossible, looking towards the light should make colours seem duller, but Kits has put himself to the task of creating a harmonious whole.

For years to come, the WWII period remained the last period in Elmar Kits’s creative career when he could use solutions that were close to his heart to paint motifs that he preferred. Under the oppressive conditions of the Soviet regime his painting manner soon began to change.