Emil Nolde considered the eight tonal etchings known as Phantasien (Fantasies), created in the autumn of 1905, to be his first great breakthrough in printmaking. Die Kleinen Bürger (The Petite Bourgeoisie), the first print in the series, depicts four men standing in a circle, with similar figures at the margins. Their faces have a caricatural quality, giving this depiction of social types an ironic connotation. Complex tonal effects render the figures' mottled clothing and the hazy, dim environment. A sketchy line adds to the impression of spontaneity, hence emotional intensity, which Nolde sought. Die Kleinen Bürger is a rare print, produced in only twenty-six impressions, and an important addition to the Museum's small but growing holdings in modern German prints.