According to legend, the Count of Gleichen left his castle in Thuringia to join a crusade. In the Holy Land he was thrown into prison, but the Sultan¿s daughter freed him, he returned her love and, with the pope¿s blessing, made her his second wife. Schwind depicts his return home and the first encounter between his two wives. The story of the count and his double marriage was popular, appearing in the collections of legends and fairytales published by the brothers Grimm and Ludwig Bechstein. Goethe used it in 1776 in his play Stella to express the conflict of a man caught between two women. Schwind¿s painting is linear and planar in style, reflecting his view of a new German art that `draws outlines and places colours next to one other harmoniously¿. For him, `the outline is the main thing, conveying the idea directly¿.