The entire artistic output of Jakub Schikaneder is permeated by a sombre mood, bordering in places on a tragic existential feeling. In his oeuvre, the theme of a dead woman’s lifeless body appears recurrently from the early 1880s. However, this subject was not Schikaneder’s invention but a popular art formula of his time, symbolizing ruin, despair and decay. Schikaneder first employed the motif in 1883 in his historicizing composition entitled After the Battle of White Mountain, followed by the socially critical painting Murders in a House (1890). In a study for this painting, the body of the murdered woman lies in the same – although mirror−reversed – position as the drowned woman. In 1893, the painter presented the sketch as a gift to the poet Jaroslav Vrchlický. The atmosphere of the pastel drawing perfectly evokes many of Vrchlický’s verses that could have also been the artist’s sources of inspiration.