The Städel owns one of the most provocative paintings of classical modern art: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner's life-size nude portrait of his companion, Doris Große, whom he depicted with the eyes of a lover. Wearing only red shoes and a very large hat, Kirchner's girlfriend meets our gaze totally unselfconsciously, a sensuous and confident woman. This is an exciting work of art, rooted in the visions of a new society discussed in the period around 1900, when society was to be designed anew, in harmony with nature and free from oppressive codes of moral conduct. In the European centres of culture, these alternative ways of living were projected on to the female body. But how were these modern women to be painted?