Max Beckmann began his career as a painter influenced by the French Impressionists. His style changed dramatically after his service as a medical orderly in World War I, during which he experienced a nervous breakdown. At the time he produced this drypoint, Beckman was associated with the New Objectivity (Neue Sachlichkeit), a post-Expressionist movement whose art was politically engaged, realistic, and often intentionally ugly. Here, the draftsman of the title (identified as the printmaker and habitual sketcher Rudolf Grossmann) and other figures crowd around a female model, whose back is to us. The cramped space and jagged lines give the scene an angular, menacing quality characteristic of Beckmann's work at this time.