About the artist
Ferdinand Erfmann was born into a family of actors in Rotterdam and besides drawing and paintingregularly performed on stage before the First World War. The two professions merged in his paintings of the worlds of the stage and the circus. His chief subject however was women: burly bathers, factory girls, female athletes and prostitutes – referred to by Erfmann as ‘mastodons’ – immortalised in a flat, schematic figurative style that he characterised as ‘psychological synthetic realism’ and which shared some of the hallmarks of the New Objectivist movement that became popular in the Netherlands in the 1920s.
In the 1930s, inspired by his travels in the Mediterranean, Erfmann mostly painted neoclassical landscapes and mythical figures.